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RFI: Beijing Issued White Paper and Blamed U.S. for Failed Trade Negotiation

On June 2, the State Council Information Office issued a White Paper entitled, “China’s Position on the China-US Economic and Trade Consultation.” It claimed that the U.S. bears the responsibility for the setback on Sino-US talks. It criticized the U.S. for instigating trade frictions with China, condemned the U.S. for its inconsistency and dishonesty and for claiming that China will not give ground on issues of principle while also leaving room for future negotiation.

Radio France Internationale (RFI) stated that the White Paper may appear to refute the accusations of the U.S. while shirking responsibility for the failed negotiations. It also seems to help Xi Jinping to shut down criticism from his domestic political opponents.

The White Paper criticized Trump’s “America First” and unilateral policy, which imposed tariffs on China. It accused Washington of “turning a blind eye to China’s unremitting efforts and remarkable progress in protecting intellectual property and improving the business environment for foreign investors,” of launching the “301 investigation” in August 2017; of imposing tariffs and trade restrictions on investments; and of inciting Sino-US trade friction.

The White Paper claims that “US-imposed tariff measures harm others and are of no benefit to itself.” On the one hand, China’s exports to the United States have declined for five consecutive months, and were down 9.7 percent in the period of January through April 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. It also increased the production costs of US companies and the cost of domestic goods. U.S. consumers had to pay an additional US$4.6 billion per year. Meanwhile U.S. exports of agricultural products to China decreased by 33.1 percent year-over-year.

The White Paper also criticized the United States for “backtracking on commitments and for a lack of honesty” and cited three examples to use to accuse Washington. The White Paper stated that “China is committed to credible consultations based on equality and mutual benefit. China will not bow under pressure and will rise to any challenge coming its way. China is open to negotiation, but will also fight to the end if needed.”

Source: Radio France Internationale, June 2, 2019