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China, Senegal eye strong relations

Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to Senegal at the invitation of his counterpart President Macky Sall. The news made headlines in Senegal after it was released.

Senegal is the westernmost country in Africa. It has another beautiful name, Teranga, meaning hospitality. The Senegalese football team joined the just-concluded 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and won its first group match.

I’ve been working in Senegal for more than two years. Its cultural inclusiveness impresses me most, allowing me to look for old memories at the Island of Gorée and feel the modern atmosphere along the Corniche ouest Boulevard in Dakar.

Senegal, known for its active diplomacy on the African continent, has made unremitting efforts to bolster development for African countries.

With a population of over 15 million and covering less than 200,000 square kilometers, Senegal must have enough strength so that it could stand out in global diplomatic stage.

Having a complete national system and long-term political stability, the country’s economy grew by 7.2 percent last year.

President Sall proposed the Emerging Senegal Plan that aims to build an emerging market economy by 2035. The president said his country will strengthen cooperation with China because the Chinese people deliver what they promise and carry out tasks resolutely.

The president speaks highly of the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China, believing that it will bring opportunities to countries around the world and showing willingness to actively participate in the construction of the Belt and Road.

Despite of the long distance between the two countries, China and Senegal have conducted more frequent exchanges at all levels in recent years and enhanced mutual trust. A number of large cooperative projects have created real benefits to local residents and brought the two peoples closer.

President Xi and President Sall have had several meetings at bilateral and multilateral occasions, agreeing to elevate the bilateral relationship into a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. Under the care and support of the two heads of state, China-Senegal relationship has grown fast and their practical cooperation has yielded fruitful results.

China’s Africa policy of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith as well as correct viewpoint on righteousness and benefit, which was put forward by Xi, also serve as its guideline in developing China-Senegal relationship.

China-built projects such as the Grand National Theater, the Black Civilization Museum, children’s hospital, the Confucius Institute, national wrestling stadium have made the graceful and comfortable city of Dakar more beautiful.

Such projects as drilling wells in rural areas, and highways, bridges and information projects funded by China have provided strong support for reviving the Senegalese economy.

In addition, university students in Dakar have great enthusiasm for learning Chinese, and the supply of teachers at the Confucius Institute falls short of demand. Chinese enterprises in Senegal built a two-kilometer-long park for sports activities for local community, drawing hundreds of young people.

With joint efforts, China and Senegal will push for new progress of the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

It’s hoped that under the guidance of the outcomes of President Xi’s visit to Senegal and the spirit of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), the two countries will improve bilateral cooperation, innovate and break new ground so as to realize higher-level win-win cooperation and mutual benefits in more fields and at more levels and contribute more to the building of a closer community with shared future for China and Africa and a community with shared future for mankind.

The author is Chinese Ambassador to Senegal

Commentary: It’s impossible for US to reverse global trend of free trade

US President Donald Trump’s visit to Europe ended with rising concerns from the latter who bore a bright hope for an all-round communication with the US before the meeting.

Transatlantic partnership has long been a priority of the US diplomacy, but Trump’s complaints that the European states are “taking advantage” of the US trade has made Europe unhappy.

As a matter of fact, the dissatisfaction of the EU toward the US can date back to a long time ago. The US, in this June, started to impose steel and aluminum tariffs against the EU in disrespect of the latter’s strong opposition, and the EU levied retaliatory tariffs on American products as a response.

But instead of correcting its wrongdoings, Washington then threatened to impose tariffs on all cars assembled in the EU. What’s worse, it provoked another trade standoff with China. The US, misled by the “America first” principle, is seeking to maximize its interests in an arrogant manner.

The US-initiated trade dispute is a battle between unilateralism and multilateralism. Both the Section 232 and 301 investigations were launched based on the country’s domestic laws.

The Section 232 investigation is seemingly applied to judge whether foreign products pose threats to the national security of the US, and the Section 301 investigation is said to protect the trading interests of the country. But as a matter of fact, they are nothing but a unilateral tool for the US to chase profits.

There has been a significant drop in the launch frequency of such investigations since the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Now, by restarting the investigations, the US government is indeed looking for an excuse to pressure on other countries by its trade policies, which has placed serious threats to the multilateral trading system.

The US is disturbing free trade by levying extra tariffs on foreign goods. The world has been working to revive the global economy and promote globalization after the outbreak of financial crisis in 2008.

Important mechanisms such as G20 hold that trade and investment can drive global economic growth, and the world should be devoted to activating the two engines in order to guarantee the smooth run of the economy.

The G20 Strategy for Global Trade Growth endorsed at the G20 summit in Hangzhou was aimed to bring a turnabout of the economy and encourage countries to join efforts for an open world economy. Holding high the banner of protectionism, the US turns its back to the global efforts.

The unilateral trade policies are bullying practices that infringe upon the international rules. Even though China, the EU and Canada have endeavored to control trade disputes with the US through negotiations, the latter reacted with inconsistent stance, betrayed the consensus reached and insisted on invoking trade disputes.

The US willfully exaggerated its trade deficit with China, and even deliberately sidestepped the causes for such deficit, including its low saving rate, the important role of the US dollars as a major reserve currency and its restrictions on exports of high-tech products.

The US is actually shirking its responsibility and laying the blame on others in the name of fair trade. Its move severely violates the WTO spirit, and breaks the reciprocal principle and international rules.

Currently, the victims of the US unilateralism have all taken countermeasures in their own ways, warning the US to stop its wrongdoings and ultimately come back to the normal global trading order.

The US has on many occasions stressed to protect interests of its workers. But disturbing the world with its “America first” principle only leaves itself affected as well.

The inefficient and short-sighted trade and economic policies and conducts of the US have aroused high alert of the world. What the US should do now as a major country is to go back to multilateralism, support free trading system, and safeguard international rules, since that is the trend of the world which is impossible for the US to reverse.

(By Su Xiaohui, deputy director of Department for International and Strategic Studies of China Institute of International Studies.)

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.