INTERNATIONAL

‘China has to resolutely respond to U.S.’

State-run daily says Washington senses threat from China’s rise as a strategic rival

China has launched a long campaign to win the trade war with the U.S., which is targeting Beijing’s transition to a digitally advanced economy.

A hard hitting commentary in the People’s Daily made it plain that the trade war would be a marathon and not a sprint. “The Trump administration regards China as its ‘strategic competitor’ which ‘threatens’ the U.S. in terms of geopolitics, strategic security, economy and trade and technology, as well as ideology. Its China policy, based on zero-sum mentality, will not change as China hopes it to. Therefore, China has to cast away illusions and resolutely respond to the U.S.,” said a post. The article asserted that Washington has adopted a policy to target China’s rise as a strategic rival.

Going high-tech

Analysts say that Made-in-China 2025 (MIC 2025) that promises to make Beijing the global engine of advanced manufacturing, is the real target of U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade war. In an interview with Bloomberg in March, White House adviser Peter Navarro was unambiguous in saying that U.S. tariffs were targeting the “Made in China 2025” strategy. But observers point out that it may be too late to wreck the strategy.

For starters, China is responding energetically to the heavy domestic demand for white collar jobs in high-end manufacturing, including those of self-driving cars, drones and other areas such as new materials and biomedicine.

China is also expected to dramatically expand funding for semiconductor chips — its area of vulnerability within the MIC-2025 framework.

Further, China is in a good position to import products from other countries as an alternative to the U.S. Whereas one-fifth of U.S. imports are from China, Beijing imports only 9.9% of its requirement from the U.S.

A Chinese official told state-run Xinhua news agency that once Washington exits the Chinese market, it will be hard for it to stage a comeback.

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