A politician who unleashes a trade war with the world’s largest country from the point of view of consumption, will lose it without a doubt, believes the famous economist and director of the China Institute of Fudan University, Zhang Weiwei.
However, the expert claims that the trade war started by US President Donald Trump against China does not worry him.
China and its advantages
According to Weiwei, it is enough just to take a look at the volume of the Chinese economy to understand the cause of his lack of concern. It turns out that Trump is trying to impose tariffs on imports of the goods on the Asian country which is the largest manufacturer in the world.
“No matter what Trump says about his victory, we know that this is nonsense,” the expert said in an interview with Russia’s Rossiya 24.
As a result of this war, the burden of tariff rates will ultimately fall on US citizens in the form of taxes.
Although there are usually no winners in commercial wars, in the current battle with China, the US loses more than its Asian rival, says Weiwei.
“If China throws the US out of its market, the US will no longer be a superpower,” he warned.
The times change
The economist thinks that Donald Trump is very old-fashioned in his applied commercial policy in relation to China. Their perception of the commercial wars corresponds to that of the 80s of the last century, when automobiles produced completely in Japan were sold in the USA.
“Now times are different: each product is part of the global supply chain, if you punish a Chinese company, at the same time it punishes others in South Korea, Japan, Germany and the US, because an iPhone, as an example, is assembled from components coming from these same countries,” he explained.
Donald Trump accuses China of stealing American jobs, but these accusations have nothing to do with reality. The problems have to be sought in the political system of the North American country, consider the interlocutor of the chain.
“Those incomes that American corporations like Apple receive in China do not reach the middle class of the US, which is why it decreases,” he said.
The short memory of Washington
The expert stressed that the US had already raised to China three conditions that the Asian country should meet in the future. The first condition is to buy more American goods, the second is related to the protection of intellectual property and the third condition requires that China apply structural reforms, that is, change the model of its economy. If China does not have considerable discrepancies with the first two demands, the third is unacceptable for Beijing.
“China is not going to change its economic model, why does not the US change its?” he questioned.
Weiwei recalled that it was the North American country that caused the global financial crisis more than 10 years ago. The financial bubbles of the US are the main threat to the world economy, according to the economist.
“Precisely Beijing reached out and helped Washington get out of the precarious situation, buying US bonds, after the American country caused the crisis in 2008. They [Americans] have a very short memory, but in three or four years a new crisis will be inevitable,” he said.
According to the expert, China has tried to do everything possible to maintain patience and be courteous in the current disputes with the US.
“It is a historical principle in China that demands that Beijing be courteous even if it has to fight to the death,” he said.
Weiwei believes that China differs considerably from the US because it does not have in its minds the deep-rooted desire to be the world policeman.
“It’s not in our culture, it’s not in our traditions, Chinese culture is a culture of peace, we’re a hundred times more peaceful than any Western force,” he said.
Focus on Russia
Most Chinese citizens traditionally treat Russia well since it recalls the time when the USSR helped the Asian country. In particular, its 156 projects developed in the construction of machinery helped Beijing to found the basis for its industry. In addition, more than 30,000 Chinese students were able to study in Soviet universities.
“In Chinese culture as well as in Russian culture, we always remember our friends, saying: When you drink from a well, remember those who dug it,” he said.
This is the reason why the Chinese president openly declared that relations with Russia are the most important in this century for China. It’s your strategic decision, he thinks.
“If you look at the world today, you can see the decline of the West and the rebirth of the rest of the world, Russia and China are among the reborn and play a key role,” he concluded.