US should assume full responsibility for escalated trade tensions: experts

The US needs to take all of the responsibilities for its escalated trade tensions with China, experts warmed, pointing out that the country’s accusations that China neglects differences in trade and has not taken active measures cannot hold water.

China’s Ministry of Commerce released a statement on Thursday, in which it, point-by-point, refuted the so-called blames mentioned in the Statement by the US Trade Representative on Section 301 Action unveiled on July 10.

Over the years, China has given priority to and taken proactive measures to address the US’ concerns, but the US turned a blind eye to China’s efforts, disregarded the multilateral trading system, and resorted to unilateral protectionist policies for sake of its own interests, the experts added.

Placing great importance to its ties with the US, China has introduced a series of measures to improve bilateral trade relations and diffuse disputes, said Luo Yuze, director of the Research Department of Foreign Economic Relations at the State Council’s Development Research Center.

Luo added that China did so since it takes its relations with the US as one of its most important bilateral relationships.

China has made clear-cut pledge that strong measures would be rolled out to expand its imports as unilateral export growth and foreign trade deficit has never been its appeal.

At this year’s annual meeting of the Boao Forum for Asia, China announced a slew of measures to further open up market and encourage exports, indicating its sincerity to improve trade relations with the US as well as other countries.

China has been restrained when dealing with trade dispute with the US as it insists on not firing the first shot or proactively adding tariffs to retaliate, said Luo.

The country also did a lot to address the US’ concerns over overcapacity, experts underlined.

“China and the US maintains a close trade relationship. As a developing country and late comer as well, China has been learning international rules to adapt itself to economic globalization,” said Zhou Mi, deputy director of the Institute of America and Oceania of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation with the Ministry of Commerce.

But the US, where the 2008 global financial crisis started, dragged the world economy into a 10-year-long rebalance process and directly led to a sharp decrease of the demand and relative supply surplus, Zhou said.

Against such backdrop, China has been endeavoring for a new balance with solutions like supply-side structural reform, he said, adding that during the G20 Hangzhou Summit in 2016, China reached a consensus with other stakeholders to establish the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity in order to address periodical fluctuations of overcapacity.

In addition to the efforts, China quickens reform and opening up steps by substantially cutting tariffs on imported vehicles and other products and increasing imports of American agricultural and energy products.

In stark contrast to China’s concrete efforts is the US’ disrespect for the international trading rules and escalation of the trade war step by step.

China and the US have held four rounds of negotiations. In the process, China, with a strong sense of responsibility and constructive attitude, put forward plans to expand imports of American agricultural and energy products, and worked on proposals of enlarging imports of US manufactured goods and services, said Li Yong from China Association of International Trade.

“However, in reckless disregard of this sincerity, the US abruptly imposed tariffs on Chinese goods, breaking the consensus reached and shutting the door on negotiations. It is not China but the US that is irresponsible,” Li noted.

China was forced to take counteractions, Li noted, stressing that it is a justified choice to defend the core interests of the nation and its people.

The US has become so unreasonable in distorting facts, and also it is irresponsible for China if it does not react, he added.

A retrospect of the escalation of US-China trade tensions will tell that it is the US who started every dispute without any respect for international trading rules.

On April 3, the US administration published a proposed list of Chinese products worth around $50 billion subject to additional 25 percent tariffs, based on a so-called Section 301 investigation report.

On April 27, the Office of the United States Trade Representative released the “2018 Special 301 Report on Intellectual Property Rights”, unilaterally judging and criticizing the intellectual property rights in other countries.

Then, on May 29, the White House announced that it would make public the list of Chinese products worth around $50 billion subject to additional 25 percent tariffs by June 15 and announce restrictions on Chinese investment in the US and export controls by June 30.

On July 6, the White House announced 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese products, and five days later, Washington worsened the situation by announcing a tariff list of Chinese products worth $200 billion.

The trade war was provoked by the US, and China’s engagement in the war is for a peaceful resolution, which cannot be achieved either by stepping aside or by losing the war, said Chen Wenling, chief economist at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.

China has made major and sincere policy adjustments to ease the US’ concerns in trade deficit, and market access, especially the financial service sector, said Wang Xiaosong, professor with Renmin University of China.

But showing no respect to the truth, the US groundlessly levied high tariffs on Chinese products in the disguise of reciprocal trading, hurting China’s core interests, Wang added.

Under the current background, China has to protest against trade bullying and hit back at the US with countermeasures, while upholding reform and opening up, the expert noted.

China sees stable employment growth

Some 6.13 million urban jobs were added in China between January and May this year, a good momentum driven by the country’s growing economic aggregate and optimized economic structure, said a spokesperson with the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MHRSS).

From January to May, 2.3 million urban laid-off workers and 720,000 people having difficulty securing employment were employed.

By the end of the first quarter, the registered unemployment rate in urban areas was 3.89 percent, down 0.08 percentage points from the same period last year. In May, the surveyed unemployment rate in urban areas was 4.8 percent, 0.1 percentage points lower than last May.

China’s job market remained active in the first three months, with an average of 1.23 job opportunities created for one job seeker, a record high, according to statistics released by 100 public employment service agencies.

The manufacturing labor market was expanding steadily with the demand for manufacturing jobs increasing by 5.2 percent year-on-year, 0.7 percentage points higher than the demand for all jobs, statistics show.

By the end of the first quarter, the number of rural migrant workers hit 174 million, an increase of 1.88 million year-on-year. A total of 430,000 people with difficulty securing jobs were employed, a year-on-year increase of 20,000 people and a record high. By the end of May, an accumulative 7.81 million registered impoverished people were employed.

Lu Aihong, a spokesperson with the MHRSS, said as an important indicator of macro regulation, China’s labor market has expanded steadily, sending a positive signal that the national economy is generally stable.

Lu disclosed that the service sector accounted for 56.6 percent of the economy by the end of the first three months, and its bigger share gives a stronger boost to employment.

New impetus for development continues to grow, as China stepped up its reforms in the business sector as well as its efforts to streamline administration, delegate powers, improve regulation, and strengthen services.

“In the first three months, 1.32 million enterprises were registered and 14,700 businesses were set up each day, indicating the multiplier effect of creating more jobs by encouraging business startups has continued to emerge,” said Mo Rong, deputy director of Chinese Academy of Labour and Social Security, a government think tank.

Last year, 20 places across the country raised minimum wage by an average of 11 percent. By June 1, 2018, another 8 places have lifted minimum wage by 12.3 percent on average.

“The minimum wage adjustments have better guaranteed the work-based earnings of low-income laborers,” Mo said, adding that some places have released guidelines to provide information for rational rise of workers’ salaries.

US unilaterally initiated a trade war without any international legal basis: expert

In a statement issued on July 12, China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC) pointed out that the United States accused China’s countermeasures of having no international legal basis, but in fact it is the U.S. unilateral initiation of a trade war that has no international legal basis at all. Experts believe that the US approach is a unilateral approach prohibited by the WTO’s Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes (DSU), and violates the most basic spirit and principles of the WTO. That China was forced to take counteractions is an inevitable choice to defend national interests and global interests, and is perfectly rightful, reasonable and lawful.

“The section 301 investigation was initiated, investigated, decided and executed by the United States itself and has a strong characteristic of unilateralism, ” said Bai Ming, deputy director of the MOC International Market Research Institute. Given that, the Section 301 has been widely criticized ever since its enactment.

“It is not surprising that the economic and trade cooperation between economic powers can be frictional. The key is to adopt a reasonable and legal solution, rather than arbitrarily adopting unilateralism and protectionism.” Bai Ming said.

The Section 301 refers to an investigation under Section 301 of the US Trade Act of 1974, a law that allows the US president to unilaterally impose tariffs on another country.

As Chad Bown, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics once put in a metaphor – The US government acted as police force (identifying the foreign government’s crime), prosecutor (making the legal arguments), jury (ruling on the evidence), and judge (sentencing the foreigner to US retaliatory punishment).

In August 2017, the US launched the Section 301 investigation against China despite opposition from China and the international community. The US released a Section 301 investigation report in March 2018 and imposed 25 percent tariffs on 34 billion U.S. dollars worth of Chinese exports to the US on July 6 in disregard of 91-percent opposition in the comments it received. On July 11, the US further escalated the situation by announcing a tariff list of Chinese products worth 200 billion U.S. dollars.

They are a clear violation of the basic WTO principle of most-favored-nation treatment as well as the basic spirit and principles of international law. Also, the tariffs are typical unilateralism, protectionism and trade bullying, said Wang Qijiang, the vice chairman of the China Law Society.

The US has violated its commitment to free trade and should be stopped jointly by relevant parties and led back to the right track of WTO principles.

The US has totally turned its back on the framework of global multi-lateral trade, demanding only the one-side interest, which is not only disobeying the principles of global trade, but also unlikely to get the advantage.

The “fair trade” that the US claims is a clear “protectionism” under the name of fairness.

That China was forced to take counteractions is an inevitable choice to defend national interests and global interests, and is perfectly rightful, reasonable and lawful. It also demonstrates China’s resolution and determination to protect the WTO multi-lateral system and the international law, said Zhang Monan, a researcher from the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.

Commentary: Institutional advantages boost confidence for China to win trade war

Ten days ago, the US invoked a trade war with China and the latter hit back with confidence.

China was forced to take counteractions, which is an inevitable choice to defend the right to develop of the country and its people, and to safeguard the global multilateral trading system.

In addition to explicit factors such as China’s righteous position and strong national strength built up in the past 40 years of reform and opening up, a key reason for China’s confidence in winning the trade war lies in its great institutional advantages that allow it to concentrate all national efforts on big issues and give it strong capabilities to organize and mobilize the efforts.

“Our biggest advantage is that we, as a socialist country, can pool resources in a major mission,” Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee once said.

It is such advantages that allow China to instantly mobilize all resources to implement major decisions upon creation, rather than purely discussing without making decisions or executions.

The US national policies and paths change with the shifts of ruling parties, and in sharp contrast to this is China’s impressive persistence to the guideline of unleashing and developing productive forces.

It is such institutional advantages that make China achieve the tremendous transformation from a poor and weak country into one that has stood up, grown rich, and become strong in a very short period of time in the history of global economy.

It is also because of such institutional advantages that China could effectively mobilize all efforts to not only address the trade war, but also prepare for possible changes of the global economy.

Mobilization is a powerful strength. Some reports have depicted time-taking debates, loud words, ever-changing policies, hesitation, and inexecution as merits of Western politics, while describing the strong mobilization capability of China as “inappropriate”.

Taking a review of the birth and evolvement of human civilization and the history of the rise of the West, people will naturally come to a conclusion that mobilization capability is the foundation for the emergence of civilization and human society, as well as a premise for a nation to survive and develop.

It is also a key factor that determines whether or not a society can survive wars and disasters and whether a country and nation can develop.

Igniting a trade war at this very time, the US was possibly thinking that the periodical economic change is beneficial to itself, but it should not overlook China’s strong mobilization capability and firm resolution.

China is completely equipped with the favorable conditions to win the battle against major financial risks and counter external risks and is confident with the tasks. It will advance all missions as scheduled, according to a meeting held by the State Council’s Financial Stability and Development Committee on July 2.

China is also adept at adjusting its policies. It recognizes the imperfection of its institution and policies, but the strong capabilities to organize and mobilize can drive it to continuously improve itself and adjust policies in different environments on the premise of overall stability.

Because of this, we believe that this epic trade war serve as a pressure test for Chinese economy, and help the country discover the specific policies which are against economic rules, in accordance with which it can carry out reforms.

The largest benefit this trade war has brought to China so far is that it has effectively stimulated the Chinese society to work harder, strengthen innovation of key technologies, and take actions.

China’s policies are efficient and the Chinese ruling party has a strong sense of responsibility. Democratic centralism helps the central leadership absorb wisdom from various sides and improve efficiency.

On the contrary, the Western parliamentary system leads the politics into a situation in which everyone is responsible yet no one shoulders the responsibility. People take credit for successful policies but keep away from failures. This mechanism further reduces efficiency.

The world is full of competitions. Efficiency determines whether or not a country or nation could survive and develop and all political institutions have to ultimately be tested by the principle of efficiency.

According to The Art of War by ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu, the best way to command a military operation is policy-making, then diplomatic approaches, then defeating the enemy with armed forces and then attacking their city.

To a great extent, it was the American system that made the US policymakers declare a war to almost the world and China hit back through the “diplomatic approaches” soon after the war started.

China doesn’t just restrict its sight onto the current situation. With the institutional advantages, the country not only strives to effectively address current challenges but also looks afar.

China is under the strong leadership of the CPC, a visionary ruling party with united and strong will, while the US parties take turns to rule the country and the present government just addresses problems during its tenure, and is even only focusing on the midterm election.

It is probably out of the mind of the US government how to lead its economy out of a recession that is bound to occur in the future.

(The author is a researcher with the Ministry of Commerce.)

China remains attractive to foreign investment

China remains attractive to foreign investment thanks to its massive market opportunities, continuous efforts to ease market access for foreign investors and development of a favorable investment environment.

Global foreign direct investment (FDI) fell by 23 percent to $1.43 trillion in 2017, according to the World Investment Report 2018, released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in June. The year saw sluggish global foreign direct investment. On the contrary, China attracted $136 billion in its FDI last year, hitting a new record high.

One of the predominant factors that contribute to China’s attractiveness to foreign investment is its constantly expanding market opportunities, said Sang Baichuan, professor at the University of International Business and Economics.

Sang added that with the rise of per capita income in China and the country’s domestic consumption structure upgrade, Chinese citizens now demand more quality information technology, health care, financial and cultural products, while multinational enterprises have certain advantages in these fields.

For example, British Petroleum (BP), one of the world’s leading integrated oil and gas companies, recently announced its plan to build more than 1,000 gasoline stations in China over the next five years, with the likelihood of also offering charging services for electric vehicles.

BP has bet on China’s market opportunities, evidenced by its willingness to increase investment in the country. According to BP China, it aims to bring a differentiated experience to Chinese consumers by providing quality products and services.

Statistics indicate that China’s high-tech industry maintained rapid growth in utilizing foreign investment, with paid-in investment of 43.37 billion yuan in the first half of 2018, up 25.3 percent from the previous year. The manufacturing industry used 134.83 billion yuan in foreign investment during the same period, accounting for 30.2 percent of the total.

In addition, China unveiled a new negative list in June to ease market restrictions on foreign investors. For example, China has removed restrictions on foreign equity in the banking industry and will lift all restrictions on foreign equity in the financial sector in 2021, according to the list.

China’s resolution in opening up is self-evident, said Zhang Yansheng, a researcher at the China Center for International Economic Exchange, adding that China has rolled out a series of measures to open up in recent years, offering confidence to foreign investors.

After the list was released, the U.S.-based electric vehicle industry leader, Tesla, set up a super factory in Shanghai, marking the city’s biggest ever foreign-funded manufacturing project.

Moreover, China simplified the business registration process for foreign-funded enterprises before the end of June. Enterprises can now complete procedures on the market regulation department’s website. A fairer, more transparent and convenient market environment will enhance foreign enterprises’ confidence in entering the Chinese market.

A report released by the American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham China) says that nearly 60 percent of enterprises surveyed list China as one of the three major investment destinations, with one third of enterprises planning to expand their investment in China by more than 10 percent this year.

Despite facing fierce global competition in attracting foreign investment, China, with a huge market potential, continuously growing business environment and rich human resources, has the confidence and ability to become a hot land for foreign investors, noted Gao Feng, a spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

US should assume full responsibility for escalated trade tensions: experts

The US needs to take all of the responsibilities for its escalated trade tensions with China, experts warmed, pointing out that the country’s accusations that China neglects differences in trade and has not taken active measures cannot hold water.

China’s Ministry of Commerce released a statement on Thursday, in which it, point-by-point, refuted the so-called blames mentioned in the Statement by the US Trade Representative on Section 301 Action unveiled on July 10.

Over the years, China has given priority to and taken proactive measures to address the US’ concerns, but the US turned a blind eye to China’s efforts, disregarded the multilateral trading system, and resorted to unilateral protectionist policies for sake of its own interests, the experts added.

Placing great importance to its ties with the US, China has introduced a series of measures to improve bilateral trade relations and diffuse disputes, said Luo Yuze, director of the Research Department of Foreign Economic Relations at the State Council’s Development Research Center.

Luo added that China did so since it takes its relations with the US as one of its most important bilateral relationships.

China has made clear-cut pledge that strong measures would be rolled out to expand its imports as unilateral export growth and foreign trade deficit has never been its appeal.

At this year’s annual meeting of the Boao Forum for Asia, China announced a slew of measures to further open up market and encourage exports, indicating its sincerity to improve trade relations with the US as well as other countries.

China has been restrained when dealing with trade dispute with the US as it insists on not firing the first shot or proactively adding tariffs to retaliate, said Luo.

The country also did a lot to address the US’ concerns over overcapacity, experts underlined.

“China and the US maintains a close trade relationship. As a developing country and late comer as well, China has been learning international rules to adapt itself to economic globalization,” said Zhou Mi, deputy director of the Institute of America and Oceania of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation with the Ministry of Commerce.

But the US, where the 2008 global financial crisis started, dragged the world economy into a 10-year-long rebalance process and directly led to a sharp decrease of the demand and relative supply surplus, Zhou said.

Against such backdrop, China has been endeavoring for a new balance with solutions like supply-side structural reform, he said, adding that during the G20 Hangzhou Summit in 2016, China reached a consensus with other stakeholders to establish the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity in order to address periodical fluctuations of overcapacity.

In addition to the efforts, China quickens reform and opening up steps by substantially cutting tariffs on imported vehicles and other products and increasing imports of American agricultural and energy products.

In stark contrast to China’s concrete efforts is the US’ disrespect for the international trading rules and escalation of the trade war step by step.

China and the US have held four rounds of negotiations. In the process, China, with a strong sense of responsibility and constructive attitude, put forward plans to expand imports of American agricultural and energy products, and worked on proposals of enlarging imports of US manufactured goods and services, said Li Yong from China Association of International Trade.

“However, in reckless disregard of this sincerity, the US abruptly imposed tariffs on Chinese goods, breaking the consensus reached and shutting the door on negotiations. It is not China but the US that is irresponsible,” Li noted.

China was forced to take counteractions, Li noted, stressing that it is a justified choice to defend the core interests of the nation and its people.

The US has become so unreasonable in distorting facts, and also it is irresponsible for China if it does not react, he added.

A retrospect of the escalation of US-China trade tensions will tell that it is the US who started every dispute without any respect for international trading rules.

On April 3, the US administration published a proposed list of Chinese products worth around $50 billion subject to additional 25 percent tariffs, based on a so-called Section 301 investigation report.

On April 27, the Office of the United States Trade Representative released the “2018 Special 301 Report on Intellectual Property Rights”, unilaterally judging and criticizing the intellectual property rights in other countries.

Then, on May 29, the White House announced that it would make public the list of Chinese products worth around $50 billion subject to additional 25 percent tariffs by June 15 and announce restrictions on Chinese investment in the US and export controls by June 30.

On July 6, the White House announced 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese products, and five days later, Washington worsened the situation by announcing a tariff list of Chinese products worth $200 billion.

The trade war was provoked by the US, and China’s engagement in the war is for a peaceful resolution, which cannot be achieved either by stepping aside or by losing the war, said Chen Wenling, chief economist at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.

China has made major and sincere policy adjustments to ease the US’ concerns in trade deficit, and market access, especially the financial service sector, said Wang Xiaosong, professor with Renmin University of China.

But showing no respect to the truth, the US groundlessly levied high tariffs on Chinese products in the disguise of reciprocal trading, hurting China’s core interests, Wang added.

Under the current background, China has to protest against trade bullying and hit back at the US with countermeasures, while upholding reform and opening up, the expert noted.

People’s Daily commentary: U.S. bullying practices are a global provocation

Washington has lost its rationality, and its bullying practices are a provocation against the world. On July 10, Trump administration placed another $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports.

This is completely unacceptable. China will make solemn protests against this unacceptable behavior. In order to protect the interests of the country as well as the people, China will retaliate with necessary countermeasures.

It’s been proven throughout history that irrational trade wars are precarious, and the country initiating a trade war is likely to end up shooting itself in the foot. However, this warning has fallen on deaf ears in the White House. Some have even adopted blind optimism, dreaming of an easy win.

It’s not the first time that China has faced the U.S. in this way, and so far China has not been a country to sit back and become compromised. To make China take a step back is the largest strategic mistake that the U.S. could make.

China will never back down when faced with threats and blackmail, neither will it waver its resolution in safeguarding the global free trade and multilateral trade system.

An orderly international trade system is needed by every country around the world, serving as a cornerstone of global economic growth. The U.S. is undermining global trade rules and causing problems for the global economy.

In the modern world, all economies have been, to different extents, integrated into the global industrial chain and value chain. They are dependent on each other, sharing both prosperity and recession. The “zero-sum” mentality of the U.S. not only brings negative impacts to both parties directly involved, but also to every country on the global industrial chain.

In history, any threats regarding tariffs were quickly followed by unemployment and shrinking orders, and even long-term global recession. The ongoing unilateralism of the U.S is not only hurting China and itself, but also the world.

The international community has expressed concern and anger toward the irresponsible U.S. trade policies. International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief, Christine Lagarde, pointed out that the U.S. is responsible for negative impacts on the international trade system. WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo also warned that the global trade system has been shaken.

No matter how the world changes, China will focus on its own issues, and firmly advance its progress of reform and opening up with people-centered strategies. The country is confident about and capable of coping with risks and challenges.

China will keep working with the international community to safeguard trade liberalization and multilateral trade systems, and fight back the bullying tactics of the U.S.

It is believed that China will win the battle between unilateralism and multilateralism, between protectionism and trade liberalization, and between power and rules.

World population to reach 9.8 billion in 2050, leading to further environmental pressure

By World Population Day this year, which fell on July 11, the population on earth had reached somewhere between 7.5 and 7.6 billion people.

According to a report released by the United Nations (UN) last year, the world population is expected to reach 9.8 billion in 2050, and then 11.2 billion in 2100.

The report, covering demographic information from 233 countries and regions, said that around 83 million people are born each year. From now until 2050, half of all population growth will take place in only nine countries: India, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Tanzania, the U.S., Uganda and Indonesia.

The 2017 revision of the UN World Population Prospects noted that the birth rate in most countries has declined despite the growing general population.

The population will stay unchanged when a couple has two children that live to child-bearing age. However, more and more countries today are witnessing a lowering birth rate. From 2010 to 2015, 83 countries had a birth rate lower than this, with their population accounting for 46 percent of the world’s total.

The lowering birth rate is coupled with an aging population that continues to grow. Daily Mail on Wednesday cited Reuters, saying the number of people aged 60 and above will more than double from 962 million today to 2.1 billion in 2050, and more than triple to 3.1 billion in 2100.

Apart from a lowering birth rate, the growing population is bringing huge pressure to our planet environmentally. Decreasing non-renewable resources pose a major challenge for human beings.

The situation is worsened by the imbalance of resource consumption in developed countries. Every person needs 1.9 hectares of land to live, but in the U.S. every person has an average of 9.7 hectares. If everyone in the world lived by the U.S. standard, the earth would only support 1.5 billion people, or about a fifth of today’s global population.

According to the World Health Organization, the earth has a total fresh water volume of 91,000 cubic kilometers. However, safe and clean drinking water is still inaccessible for about 210 million people, with 450 million people having no access to sanitary facilities.

Human-driven climate change is an overriding threat that is further accelerated by population growth. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change noted that economic and population growth continues to be the most important factor that drives up carbon emissions through fossil fuel consumption.

Though the future of human beings is unpredictable, one thing is certain: water and food are living necessities to us all. Each of us is a part of this world, and we should save energy as much as possible.

Commentary: “Anti-contract trap” brought by US puts world economy on hinge of disorder

Though the US made itself a rule-breaker of the international community every now and then in history, the country still astonished the world this time by abandoning the contractual spirit it had long labeled as its core social value.

The Donald Trump administration, under the banner of “America first”, is heading toward the “anti-contract trap” without any hesitation, placing world economy on a cliff of disorder.

It’s common sense that modern market economy is running on the basis of free-will contracts and credibility, and the spirit of contract has accelerated the economic globalization through both complementation and the movement of advantageous production factors.

Over the years, the developed and developing countries have already established a complete chain covering advanced technologies, cheap labor, and natural resources based on economic laws and the principle of free will, and the value of the chain has also been proved by its contribution to the world economy.

However, the chain is unreasonably denied by the White House who is making frequent fallacies that the current international rules are bringing losses to itself.

Even though the China-US trade is completely based on market rules, and the exchanges and cooperation between Chinese and US enterprises are conducted under commercial contracts, Washington still initiated the groundless Section 301 investigation and imposed tariffs on Chinese imports.

Such practice is not only a violation of international rules, but also a disrespect toward the contracts between major economic cooperation players. It broke commercial contracts, hindered global labor division and cooperation, and destroyed the credit mechanism of market economy.

The principle of fair competition is an important pillar supporting the development of market economy, and also a premise for the role of market to take effect. The administrative intervention in the legal and independent operation of enterprises will lead to disorders of both the market and resource allocation.

Over the past year, the US has put aggressive restrictions on foreign investment and voted down multiple mergers and acquisitions by foreign companies. It even stepped in the investment and operation of local and overseas enterprises, infringing upon their right to make choices independently.

For instance, the US pressured its local automaker Ford to alter its global strategy, and threatened Harley Davidson for the latter’s plan to move production overseas. Going against the principle of fair competition that the US had long adopted, such practices have disturbed the expectation of the market and the enterprises, as well as broken the smooth flow of cross-border capital.

Freedom, equality, openness, and inclusiveness are the traditional concepts about modern market economy, and also significant guidelines of economic globalization. By trampling the core values of politics and economy, the Trump administration is giving a rise to unilateral trade protectionism, isolationism, and populism.

Instead of finding the root causes of its own economic issues, the US is always passing the buck to other countries. Instead of admitting its own defects, the US is always skipping international organizations and putting the blame on others. Instead of shouldering its responsibilities as the only super power in the world, the US is always placing its domestic laws above international laws to export internal contradictions, as a result triggering global disputes and economic disorders.

The US administration turns a blind eye to the huge profits their companies reaped in China, while worrying that its dominance in the technology sector may be threatened by a “forced technology transfer”, a groundless accusation the US imposes on China.

The administration on one hand expects the job opportunists Chinese investment brings to their country, while on the other hand sets up barricades on the way of technology deal out of a concern that “their advanced technology and intellectual property may be acquired by others”.

What the US did, under the philosophy of maximized interests but no obligations, has severely hindered the legal and market-based trade investment, added uncertainty to business operation, and blocked the US’ road to attract foreign capital.

Such move will also exclude the US out of the big cake of global trade, and raise the consumption costs of US residents.

Everything excellent comes from good orders. A complete set of mechanisms, including international trade rules, has been established during the economic globalization process through long-term efforts and continuous collaboration, which is why the globalization is believed to benefit the world.

Order is indispensable to the giant system of world economy, just like sunshine and air are indispensable to lives. To safeguard international rules by the spirit of contract is a shared responsibility and obligation of each country.

According to a World Trade Organization (WTO) report on dispute adjudication, the US, as the largest economy of the world, is also the largest “rule-violator” among WTO members – 2/3 of the violations within the organization were committed by the country.

The US’ mentality to grab what is useful and abandon what can’t be exploited is a typical pragmatism, and also a type of short-sighted strategy.

Belt and Road countries attract Chinese students looking to study abroad

Chinese student Zhao Yunru (3rd from right) , who studies at University of Economics, Prague, has a discussion with her friends

Thanks to the current construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, Belt and Road countries are becoming more popular among Chinese students who decide to study abroad.

Statistics released by China’s Ministry of Education (MOE) indicate that 66,100 Chinese students chose to study in en-route countries in 2017, up 15.7 percent from the previous year.

China has been strengthening educational cooperation with Belt and Road countries since the initiative was put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping five years ago. By the end of 2016, it had signed agreements of mutual recognition for degrees and diplomas with 47 en-route countries and regions, including the Czech Republic, Thailand and Russia.

The unique cultural heritage of countries as well as job opportunities brought about by construction of the initiative are important factors that attract students, explained Zhang Yunqian, market promotion supervisor at a branch of the New Oriental Education & Technology Group.

Most of the students say relatively low tuition fees and future job opportunities are leading factors that attract them to such countries. For example, the annual tuition fee at the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia is between 40,000 and 70,000 yuan ($5,982 – $10,467), a teacher surnamed Qiao noted, adding that there are currently about 5,000 international students at the school, 700 coming from China.

Wang Fei, a Chinese student in Moldova, noted that the relatively low living cost, favorable public security and environment were also taken into consideration.

The advancing Belt and Road Initiative offers job opportunities for students still at university, Wang pointed out, saying that Chinese students based in Russia are in high demand to help translate for Chinese enterprises setting up branches there. Those who study in Belt and Road countries will not only have a better understanding of their current country, but also have access to their chosen discipline.

For example, Wang helps vintners in Moldova promote products in China by making use of relevant knowledge gained there, so more Chinese people are introduced to the quality wine at a reasonable price.

An employee at the Overseas Study Service Center of the MOE also disclosed that overseas Chinese students mastering languages from Belt and Road countries, as well as learning about the local culture and business etiquette, will have no problem finding work in China in the future as they will be in high demand.