US' maximum pressure policy is useless
2019/05/22

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Friday that President Donald Trump had instructed him to begin the process of raising tariffs on essentially all remaining imports from China and details will be announced Monday. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on the same day that there are no further trade talks planned between the US and China "as of now." As the US is waving the stick of a maximum pressure policy, China's attitude is: We have prepared ourselves for various scenarios.

Arrogant of its strength, Washington provoked the trade war, believing tariffs are enough to crush China. China's response demonstrates the tai chi philosophy. It has adhered to its principles, not fearing the trade war while trying to crumble the US' provocations with stout endurance.

The fierce US offensive is irrational. It will hurt the US economy. Washington obviously hopes that the fierce tariff war, which is unprecedented in trade history, will crush China's will in one fell swoop and force China to accept an unequal deal in a short term. The US is gambling. Its continuous provocations are an indication of its anxiety and eagerness to see its approach to quickly take effect.

By no means will China gamble. China has made full preparations for all situations. At a time when the tariff war has approached its peak, China is increasingly preparing itself for the worst-case scenario psychologically and tactically. The sooner the US puts into action its threat to impose a 25 percent tariff on all Chinese goods, the earlier the trade war will reach its first turning point. After that, the trade war will enter a stalemate.

The perception that China cannot bear it is a fantasy and misjudgment. If they weren't being seriously provoked, the Chinese people would not favor any trade war. However, once the country is strategically coerced, nothing is unbearable for China in order to safeguard its sovereignty and dignity as well as the long-term development rights of the Chinese people.

China's tai chi philosophy stresses maintaining sobriety and rationality at any moment. It's a philosophy that is against impulsiveness and focuses on endurance. China has introduced measures to expand its opening-up policies while dealing with the US' trade war. That is to say, besides striking back at US' tariff moves, China remains dedicated to creating a more favorable internal and external environment so as to make sure that China can endure the trade war.

The US government trumpeted that it would collect $100 billion in tariff revenue and the money could be used to purchase American agricultural products. It's ridiculous and is obviously fooling the American public. In an era when globalization continues to diminish the role of tariffs, Washington has threatened to bring manufacturing back to the US with tariff revenues and barriers.

China's stance is clear-cut. It is willing to reach a deal but will never make concessions on issues of principle, nor trade its core interests. In contrast, the US' attitude is swaying. Driven by unrealistic anticipation, it has drifted between expressing optimism that exceeds the actual situation and arbitrarily waving the tariff stick. China has clarified its stance and will try to push the situation in a good direction. If the US is to play a roller coaster-style thriller game, it will bear the consequences.