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Taking aim at U.S., China says provoking trade disputes is 'naked economic terrorism'

EconomyMay 30, 2019 01:04AM ET
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© Reuters. A worker cycles past containers outside a logistics center near Tianjin Port

By Ben Blanchard

BEIJING (Reuters) - Provoking trade disputes is "naked economic terrorism", a senior Chinese diplomat said on Thursday, ramping up the rhetoric against the United States amid a bitter trade war that is showing no signs of ending soon.

Trade tensions between Washington and Beijing escalated sharply earlier this month after the Trump administration accused China of having "reneged" on its previous promises to make structural changes to its economic practices.

Washington later slapped additional tariffs of up to 25% on $200 billion of Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to retaliate.

Speaking to reporters in Beijing, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Hanhui said China opposed the use of "big sticks" like trade sanctions, tariffs and protectionism.

"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 with the United States.

Everyone loses in a trade war, he added, addressing a briefing on Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to Russia next week, where he will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin and speak at a major investor forum in St Petersburg.

"This trade clash will have a serious negative effect on global economic development and recovery," Zhang added.

"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 China and Russia.

"At the same time, we have the confidence, resolve and ability to safeguard our country's sovereignty, security, respect and security and development interests."

From combative missives in state media and patriotic fervor on social media, to a mobilization of ambassadors around the world to get its message out, China has intensified its criticism of Washington since the United States this month moved to increase tariffs on Chinese imports and blacklisted tech giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.

On Thursday, a broadcaster from Chinese state television and a Fox Business host staged an unprecedented live debate about the China-U.S. frictions on the U.S. cable network.

Over the past two weeks, China has hinted that it may use its dominant position as an exporter of rare earths to the United States as leverage in the trade war. Rare earths are a group of 17 chemical elements used in everything from high-tech consumer electronics to military equipment.

On Thursday, the state-run China Daily newspaper said "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 said in an editorial.

China has consistently rebuffed U.S. complaints about lack of access to its economy for foreign companies, forced technology transfers and intellectual property protection, and repeatedly promised further economic reforms.

Speaking at a separate forum in Beijing, Wang Zhaoxing, a vice chairman of China's banking and insurance regulator, said the last four decades of the country's economic reforms have shown that "openness brings progress, shutting off brings backwardness".

"It is undeniable that the current economic globalization has indeed encountered some new problems and new challenges," Wang said."However, the solution is not to return to protectionism and unilateralism."

(This story corrects translation to 'chauvinism', not 'homicide', in paragraph five)

Taking aim at U.S., China says provoking trade disputes is 'naked economic terrorism'
 

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Comments (14)
Chris Sundo
Chris Sundo May 30, 2019 7:36PM ET
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The China bully is crying foul. Whow! Organ harvesting, child labor, persecution of yogis, persecution of free speech, spying on your neighbors at home and surrounding countries, perverting and subverting everything that is born fresh, mass brainwashing, arbitrary detentions, and the list goes on. Look at former communist countries like Mongolia and Eastern Europe (east Germany, Poland, Hungary, etc). They are REBUILDING after generations of repression of mind and body, repression on all fronts (education, environmental erosion, pollution, neglect as far as the eye can see). COMMUNISM IS A MAJOR FAILURE as a system. It's a sore excuse for an oligarchy. -- Communist oligarchs are NEFARIOUS TO THE CORE. Nothing good will come from communism and now the world wants to turn a blind eye to communist systems and show good will and pray that nothing bad will happen? Remember Chernobyl? A result of neglect and incompetence that is typical in communist countries due to repression of freedoms.
Glen Rautio
GlentheTaper May 30, 2019 7:48AM ET
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I love free will.
bomz bomzov
bomz bomzov May 30, 2019 6:39AM ET
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Chinese tantrums fall in price
Ravi Shastri
Ravi Shastri May 30, 2019 6:33AM ET
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China is a state sponsored economic terrorism! They should not be playing in the capitalist space. Everything is subsidized to dump! Where do you see state subsidizing businesses to dump
Chris Yeo
Chris Yeo May 30, 2019 6:33AM ET
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You nailed it man !!!
Junk Man
Junk_Man May 30, 2019 6:31AM ET
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All of this news flow, positive or negative, creates a market. Political ideology will always be around. Take advantage of the market when you can.
Ng Zen ng
Ng Zen ng May 30, 2019 5:45AM ET
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Well Business and trading has been there all centuries .
druid returns
druid returns May 30, 2019 5:22AM ET
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china has an extremely well developed social media presence, second only to israel. expect massive negative response to anything remotely critical of chima,no matter how logical. the manipulation of public opinion is the most active battleground for modern governments.
Matthew NT
MatthewBT May 30, 2019 1:49AM ET
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FB ban in China is mainly due to China's law requiring censorship. If you want to do business in that country, you have to abide by their law. Same if you want to business in US, you have to abide by US law.
bomz bomzov
bomz bomzov May 30, 2019 1:49AM ET
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in ********Germany, Jews were restricted in their rights, do you also want to abide by such laws?
Matthew NT
MatthewBT May 30, 2019 1:39AM ET
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Joint venture requirement is not just in China, common in many countries. It is part of the deal to ensure locals can participate in economic expansion, agreed to by the corporation who wants to setup business there. Forced tech transfer is just lazy excuses by politicians & businesses when they could not catch up. Huawei is leader in 5G. You can't be leader if you only copy.
bomz bomzov
bomz bomzov May 30, 2019 1:39AM ET
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we will see whether China will retain this leadership without American technology and the American market
Paul Manefee
Paul Manefee May 30, 2019 12:03AM ET
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China trolls, worry about your pork, fruit and milk prices as well as how to pay your mortgages in the coming 6 months, don’t worry about US, it’s none of your business soon
Pooja Suvarna
Pooja Suvarna May 29, 2019 11:43PM ET
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Manipulating WTO China has setup mass production facilities and dumped the products at cheap prices all over the world whereby destroying local industries and creating a job loss situation in the targeted countries. Further for Trade balance all countries has a huge amount payable to China. Barter system of Trade between countries is someway the best between countries. Countries sell goods and services which is in abundance in one country in exchange for goods and services which are scare. Few years back I had read of economic warfare, I see China practicing it to the core. Trump is fighting for US other countries are still to awake to reality.
Paul Manefee
Paul Manefee May 29, 2019 11:43PM ET
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Well said, freedom comes with a price and all democratic countries will rise to defend it once China is exposed.
Chris Sundo
Chris Sundo May 29, 2019 11:43PM ET
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Agreed
Andrew Hook
Andrew Hook May 29, 2019 11:36PM ET
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Just a friendly reminder: all the World is Bad for average americans ( they are numerous) but who drop 2 nuclear b o m b on civiliant population until now?
Robert Sharp
Robert Sharp May 29, 2019 11:36PM ET
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Japan would have never surrendered without making it perfectly clear they could not win. Up to that point in WWII some 70 million had died and those 2 bo mb s probably saved a few more million who would have died during a full scale conventional attack of Japan. It would have been Iwo Jima on a massive scale. Stop showing off your ignorance and crack open a history book.
Andrew Hook
Andrew Hook May 29, 2019 11:36PM ET
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Robert Sharp I promise you, I will open the famous history book (Bible) and will start to believe like you do Noah's Ark has existed. Pretty sure I know more about world history than you Bob. You are good to teach others about history so tell me why it took so long for Native Americans to gain Voting Right in US (1965) .....
Al Vlaj
alvlaj May 29, 2019 11:36PM ET
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Actually, a history book will show you they would have surrendered because of the Russians and the impact of the A-B was less of a factor.
Andrew Hook
Andrew Hook May 29, 2019 11:36PM ET
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So true my Friend.
mansoor ali
mansoor ali May 29, 2019 11:26PM ET
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And know china understands "it is terrorism" and what they are doing is humanism..
Mark Hoffman
Mark Hoffman May 29, 2019 10:25PM ET
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For years, China has banned (or made exceedingly difficult) many American companies from operating there and has forced transfers of countless amounts of intellectual property from companies choosing to manufacture there. They've manipulated their currency to keep it low to make their exports cheaper. They're not the victims here; they've been the aggressors.
Show previous replies (7)
Lynn McCord
the907man May 29, 2019 10:25PM ET
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Jack Zhang  . In case you didn’t notice, it’s OUR Constitution. Whatever we deem necessary regarding thieving Huawei can’t be ‘unconstitutional’. You’re not an American, so mind your own “constitution”. Oh that’s right, you dont have one...
bomz bomzov
bomz bomzov May 29, 2019 10:25PM ET
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Andrew Hook  can apply their advanced 5g on the dustbin of history
Mark Hoffman
Mark Hoffman May 29, 2019 10:25PM ET
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Jeff Chevalier  China has been soaking up IP for years now. They have a great education system. No doubt they can produce incredible technology, but their theft of foreign IP is what gave them a huge headstart.
David David
David9 May 29, 2019 10:25PM ET
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All companies try to steal eachother's IP. US comapanies stole from chinese companies too, but we never hear them cry about.
Paul Manefee
Paul Manefee May 29, 2019 10:25PM ET
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David, I agree with you, let’s force all Chinese tech to share their IP and trade secrets before they can enter WTO
 
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