Things are escalating by the day between the U.S. and China, and a senior Chinese diplomat on Thursday said the Trump administration’s “bullying” is akin to “naked economic terrorism.”
CHINA: “This kind of deliberately provoking trade disputes is naked economic terrorism, economic chauvinism, economic bullying.”
The trade war with China has been going on for more than a year now but things have gotten especially heated of late, beginning when U.S. President Donald Trump accused China of trying to “renege” on parts of the deal that had already been negotiated. He then upped tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10% to 25%, prompting Beijing to respond in kind with tariffs of its own on U.S. imports.
The Trump administration also banned Chinese telecom giant Huawei from U.S. networks and technology, further escalating tensions.
Chinese Foreign Minister Zhang Hanhui told reporters that China is philosophically opposed to “big sticks” like trade sanctions, tariffs and protectionism, but said Washington is forcing Beijing’s hand on the matter of trade.
“We oppose a trade war but are not afraid of a trade war. This kind of deliberately provoking trade disputes is naked economic terrorism, economic chauvinism, economic bullying,” Zhang said when asked about the trade war, according to a Reuters report.
Everyone loses in a trade war, he said during a briefing on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Russia coming up next week, where he’ll meet with President Vladimir Putin.
“This trade clash will have a serious negative effect on global economic development and recovery,” Zhang said.
“We will definitely properly deal with all external challenges, do our own thing well, develop our economy, and continue to raise the living standards of our two peoples,” he said, referring to the people of China and Russia. “At the same time, we have the confidence, resolve and ability to safeguard our country’s sovereignty, security, respect … and development interests.”
China has been ramping up its propaganda arm this week among its state-run media, playing up patriotic fervor on Social media, intensifying its criticism of Washington and the Trump administration.
The People’s Daily gives an explicit warning that China is to retaliate against Trump’s stifling Huawei. "We advise US side not to underestimate the Chinese side's ability to safeguard its development rights & interests. Don't say we didn't warn you!" (Photo: VCG) pic.twitter.com/bPSet3D1mU
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) May 29, 2019
In addition, Beijing is considering cutting off exports of rare earths to the U.S., which American tech companies need to produce everything from cellphones to military equipment.
And China’s state-run media (propaganda) gloated in an editorial Thursday, saying “it would be naive to think that China does not have other countermeasures apart from rare earths to hand.”
“As Chinese officials have reiterated, they have a ‘tool box’ large enough to fix any problem that may arise as trade tensions escalate, and they are ready to fight back ‘at any cost’,” it wrote.