China’s trade war song goes viral, anti-US sentiment becomes visible

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

China’s trade war song goes viral, anti-US sentiment becomes visible

The privately-produced song has more than 100,000 views on WeChat and is just one of many signs of brewing anti-American sentiment on Chinese social media as trade talks falter.

WORLD Updated: May 21, 2019 16:03 IST

Dandan Li
Dandan Li
Beijing, China
China-US trade war,anti-US sentiment,privately-produced song
Other plans include displaying the Chinese flag around National Day on October 1 and organizing teenagers to participate in themed summer camps.(AFP File Photo)

Perhaps nothing captures the growing anti-US sentiment in China better than a song about the trade war that is going viral in Beijing: “If the perpetrator wants to fight, we will beat him out of his wits.”

This privately-produced song has more than 100,000 views on WeChat and is just one of many signs of brewing anti-American sentiment on Chinese social media as trade talks falter.

State media has carried commentaries urging unified resistance to foreign pressure, including an editorial from the nationalist Global Times calling the trade dispute a “people’s war” and a threat to all of China.

Even seafood hasn’t escaped sharper rhetoric. Guangdong province’s Communist Party Youth League issued a WeChat post calling for China to eat more tilapia — a farmed fish now subject to higher US tariffs.

Trade War

The song, simply called “Trade War,” is set to the tune of an anti-Japanese song from the 1960s film “Tunnel War” — in which a Chinese town defends itself from invasion.

It begins with a male chorus singing “Trade war! Trade War! Not afraid of the outrageous challenge! Not afraid of the outrageous challenge! A trade war is happening over the Pacific Ocean!”

“I chose ‘Tunnel War’ because that is reminiscent of the similar situation that China is facing today,” the song’s producer and lyricist Zhao Liangtian told Bloomberg News on Monday. “Since the trade war broke out, I felt the urge to do something.”

On Tuesday, Chinese state media continued the belligerent rhetoric against the US.

‘Facing the US which is going against the trend of the times, China resolutely showed the sword,’ said an analysis from state-owned Xinhua News Agency that was republished widely in domestic media. ‘We are forced to take necessary measures and are prepared for a protracted war.’

A commentary in the People’s Daily warned that attempts to deprive the nearly 1.4 billion Chinese people of their right to development and impede the historical process of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation would be like ‘a mantis trying to stop a car with its arms.’

Silver Screen

China’s official entertainment industry is also caught in the crossfire.

The state-run China Central Television’s movie channel changed its May 16 prime-time schedule from live-streaming the red carpet of Asian Movie Week to a old propaganda film called ‘‘Heroic Sons and Daughters,’’ about the China-US conflict during the Korean War. It’s played a Korean War movie each night during prime time every night since.

A television series called “Over The Sea I Come to You,” about a father who accompanies his son to study in the US, was pulled off-air and replaced at the last minute. The show was set to premiere on Zhejiang Television and elsewhere May 19, according to a station announcement from earlier this once.

However — at least so far — US cultural products are still available. The worldwide blockbuster “Avengers: Endgame” is still in theaters and is the third-highest grossing film in Chinese box office history.

Rallying Patriotism

Starting Monday, Chinese radio and television stations will be required to play the country’s national anthem, “March of the Volunteers,” at 7 a.m. each morning through the end of the year, according to an official notice.

That order is only one small part of a national patriotic education plan, co-published by the party’s Central Committee and State Council, celebrating the coming 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic Of China.

The plan also aims to “encourage and mobilize the whole party, army and people of all ethnic groups to rally more closely around the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core,” a reference to China’s leader.

Other plans include displaying the Chinese flag around National Day on October 1 and organizing teenagers to participate in themed summer camps that will lead them to “experience revolutionary feelings and inherit red genes.”

Waxing Poetic

Zhao, the ‘‘Trade War’’ lyricist, is a retired official in Yanting county, in China’s southwest Sichuan province. He’s also an accredited member of the Poetry Institute of China, which is affiliated with the Communist Party’s propaganda department.

Zhao wrote the song’s lyrics last year and circulated them online, but said they had gone largely unnoticed until the negotiations went awry. He said some of his anti-US poems had been censored by authorities in the past.

After President Donald Trump threatened fresh tariffs earlier this month, Zhao sensed China’s government had changed its attitude. He paid 1600 Yuan ($232) — a third of his monthly paycheck — to finally produce his song. Other retirees sang the chorus.

In the current climate, the payoff has been immediate. “I have received many phone calls in the past days from people to show support for my work,” Zhao said.

(The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text, only the headline has been changed.)

First Published: May 21, 2019 12:21 IST

China’s Communist Party made a flashy graphic to show everyone what it thinks about the trade war

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNBC AND CHINA’S ‘PEOPLE’S DAILY’ NEWS OUTLET)

 

China’s Communist Party made a flashy graphic to show everyone what it thinks about the trade war

KEY POINTS
  • The People’s Daily, China’s official newspaper for the Communist Party, publishes a post titled “This, is China’s attitude!” on its official WeChat account.
  • The post contains a graphic with three slogans touting the country’s defiant attitude in face of trade tensions with the U.S.
  • The dispute escalated overnight with Beijing retaliating against the latest round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.

The official newspaper for China’s Communist Party published a morale-boosting graphic on Tuesday touting the country’s defiant attitude in the face of trade tensions with the U.S.

“This, is China’s attitude!” the People’s Daily said in the headline of a post on its official WeChat account.

The post contained just one image, with three slogans in gold lettering printed over the red Chinese flag and a picture of shipping containers. CNBC’s translation of the Chinese phrases reads:

“Negotiate, sure!”

“Fight, anytime!”

“Bully us, wishful thinking!”

Trade negotiations between the world’s two largest economies took a negative turn last week. On Friday, the U.S. raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of imported goods from China to 25% from 10%. Beijing responded late Monday local time with tariffs of up to 25% on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods.

China steps up US criticism

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CHINA’S GLOBAL TIMES NEWS NETWORK)

 

China steps up US criticism

By Wang Cong Source:Global Times Published: 2019/5/14 23:13:40

FM pushes back on Washington claims, keeps options open


Photo: VCG

China on Tuesday stepped up criticism of the US as tensions between the world’s largest economies continued to escalate, blaming the US for the renewed escalation that has roiled global financial markets and saying the US has underestimated China’s resolve and ability to defend itself.

As Chinese and US officials continued to exchange harsh words, China needs to be prepared for a protracted war with countermeasures and long-term reform and opening-up efforts, analysts said on Tuesday.

Asked at a routine press briefing about the US threat to impose tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese goods, Geng Shuang, a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, did not mince words about China’s plan to fight back.

“When it comes to a trade war, China does not want to fight one or is willing to fight one, but China is also absolutely not afraid to fight one,” Geng said. “If someone has brought the fight to our doorsteps, we will fight to the end.”

Though the spokesperson did not specify measures, China appears to keep options open. Asked about claims in social media that China should stop purchasing US agricultural and energy goods and Boeing airplanes if it retaliates, Geng declined to comment about the report but also stopped short of issuing a denial.

US officials appear to be moving forward with a threat to impose tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese goods. They plan a public hearing on June 17.

China announced it will impose tariffs of between 5 percent and 25 percent on $60 billion in US products starting June 1 in response to the US decision to increase tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods.

US miscalculation

China’s retaliation on Monday might have surprised US President Donald Trump and other US officials, who appeared to think that they could use tariffs to pressure China into signing an agreement, according to Wei Jianguo, a former Chinese vice commerce minister.

“I don’t think they thought about China’s will and resolve to defend its core national interests and major concerns, especially at the final stage,” Wei said. “They also haven’t considered China’s ability to stand up to pressure… and the reaction from US [consumers and companies].”

Geng also said that some in the US might have miscalculated the situation, continued to confuse the public, and asked for unreasonably  higher prices. “So we would certainly push back against these claims,” Geng said.

US officials have claimed that China walked back on a “95 percent” done deal and blamed that for the escalation.

Citing previous cases where the US backtracked from deals, Geng said that the US cannot accuse China of walking back from its positions and promises.

Prolonged war

Though both Chinese and US officials left some room for further talks, with Trump publically calling for a meeting with President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Japan in June and Chinese officials calling for the US to meet China halfway, no formal plan has been announced so far, leading some to believe this could be a prolonged trade war.

To prepare for a protracted war, analysts said, China must continue to carry out reforms and opening-up measures to boost market vitality and expand overseas markets for Chinese products to reduce reliance on the US market or any other single market.

“The reform and opening-up policy has been a magic key for China to address serious issues over the past 40 years. And a magic key is what we need to deal with the situation now,” said Cao Heping, an economics professor at Peking University, noting that more concrete actions are needed.

China has opened up more sectors to foreign investors, including finance, manufacturing and healthcare, and passed a new Foreign Investment Law to offer greater market access and better protection for foreign firms. It has cracked down on intellectual property rights violations and sought to increase foreign goods.

“The trade war has not changed and will not change China’s pace for further reform and opening-up,” Liu Ying, a research fellow with the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Posted in: DIPLOMACY,ECONOMY

China hits back by raising tariffs on US products

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA’S SHINE NEWS)

 

China hits back by raising tariffs on US products

Xinhua

China yesterday announced that it will raise the rate of additional tariffs imposed on some of the imported US products from June 1.

China had earlier imposed additional tariffs on US$60 billion worth of US imports, the rates of additional tariffs on some of the products will now be increased to 25 percent, 20 percent and 10 percent, according to a statement by the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council.

A total of 5,140 US products will be subject to additional tariffs of 5 percent, 10 percent, 20 percent and 25 percent starting on June 1, the finance ministry said in a statement yesterday.

The decision follows the US move to increase tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent as of May 10.

The measure taken by the United States escalated trade frictions and violated the consensuses reached by both sides to tackle trade disputes through consultations, the statement said.

The US move damaged the interests of the two sides and did not meet universal expectation of the international community, it said.

To defend multilateral trade mechanisms and safeguard its own rights and interests, China had to adjust its additional tariffs on some of the goods imported from the United States in response to the US act of unilateralism and trade protectionism, the statement noted.

China hopes that the United States would return to the right track of bilateral economic and trade consultations, make joint efforts with China to meet each other halfway and strive to reach a mutually beneficial and win-win agreement on the basis of mutual respect.

China-U.S. trade war worsens, the trade deficit increases

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTE)

 

As the trade war worsens, the trade deficit increases

David Dollar

Editor’s Note:David Dollar unpacks the effects of a continued trade war on the economies of China and the United States. If such protectionist measures stay in place long enough, he notes, global value chains will adjust. In that case, U.S. trade deficit will shift away from China and toward the rest of Asia and Europe, but the overall U.S. trade deficit will not change in any significant way. This piece originally appeared on The Hill.

The trade war that the U.S. has unleashed on China continues to ratchet up. The next round of 25-percent tariffs on $16 billion of imports from China will go into effect Aug. 23.

China is committed to retaliate and will implement its own 25-percent tax on $16 billion of imports from the U.S. As the tit-for-tat escalation continues, it is impossible for China to match the U.S. dollar-for-dollar because it imports so much less from the U.S. than it exports.

The next round threatened by the U.S. will cover $200 billion in additional imports. The Chinese announced retaliation will hit a much smaller volume, $60 billion of imports. Still, we are moving toward complete taxation of trade in both directions.

The direct effect of these measures on the Chinese economy is small so far. China’s exports in July were up 12.2 percent over the prior year, ahead of market expectations. The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) updated forecast for China’s GDP growth this year is 6.6 percent, above the target for the year.

Indirect effects are harder to measure but are arguably larger. China began the year in a tightening cycle, trying to rein in the excessive credit growth of the recent past. The regulators were determined in particular to reduce the shadow banking sector and to bring more financial activity back into the formal banking system.

Investment growth has been slowing all year, and the stock market peaked and started falling in January, well before the trade war got serious. The protectionism from the U.S. has contributed to the pessimistic mood in China. Investment growth was practically nil in July, and the Shanghai market is now down 24 percent since the January high.

The July data also show some easing of the tight money policy, though no let-up in the campaign against shadow banking. This suggests that the authorities are worried about the impact of the trade war on growth, but it is also a reminder that China has tools at its disposal.

Aside from monetary easing, the government is also pursuing some modest additional fiscal stimulus. China can afford to spend more public money on education, health and environmental clean-up and can use the fiscal adjustment to its advantage.

Another obvious tool is the exchange rate. Since April, the U.S. dollar is up 8 percent against a basket of major currencies. The Chinese yuan has more or less followed the same trend: It is down 9 percent against the dollar over this period.

This is one reason that China’s exports were buoyant in July. Too much depreciation could set off financial panic, but depreciating against the dollar in line with the other major currencies in the world makes sense in the current environment.

China’s Ministry of Commerce announced this week that Vice Minister Wang Shouwen will visit Washington, D.C. in late August for talks with Treasury Under Secretary David Malpass. It is good that the two sides are talking, but there is not likely to be a negotiated settlement anytime soon.

The Chinese side is confused about what the U.S. wants. It feels that near-agreements were reached twice before only to have the U.S. pull back. What China is ready to offer is clear:

  • It will agree to some big headline numbers for purchases of agricultural products and energy, which is more of a publicity stunt than a policy change;
  • it is already committed to opening some important markets in China, such as automobiles and financial services; and
  • it would agree to some general language about improving intellectual property rights protection and avoiding forced technology transfer.

These talks at the vice minister level should clarify positions, but an end to the trade war will likely require higher-level talks and ultimately a meeting between Presidents Trump and Xi. The next time that the two will meet, barring an exceptional summit, would be at the Group of 20 summit at the end of November in Buenos Aries.

An important obstacle to reaching a settlement is that the U.S. administration has put a big focus on trade balances, and those are very hard to change.

Because of the large fiscal stimulus, the U.S. economy is growing rapidly. Interest rates are rising, as is the value of the dollar. It is natural in this situation for the U.S. trade deficit to widen.

In the first half of the year, the overall U.S. deficit in goods was up 7 percent. The deficit with China was up 9 percent and 16 percent with Europe. Those trends will almost certainly continue in the second half of the year. Protectionism aimed at China will not have any big effect on the overall U.S. deficit.

The protectionism should eventually reduce imports from China, but it will also reduce U.S. exports and increase U.S. imports from other locations. Much of what the U.S. imports from China are intermediate products used by U.S. firms to be more competitive.

Taxing these will naturally result in some lost business for U.S. firms, both in the domestic market and in export markets. If the protection stays in place long enough, global value chains will adjust. Some labor-intensive final assembly will shift to countries like Vietnam in order to avoid the 25-percent tax.

Suppliers such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan will retain more production at home rather than off-shoring to China. China is likely to remain the center of the Asian production hub, but will concentrate even more than it does now on intermediates and less on final goods for the U.S. markets.

All of this will shift some of the trade deficit away from U.S.-China toward larger trade deficits with the rest of Asia and Europe. But the overall U.S. trade deficit will not change in any significant way.

China says US trade move contrary to bilateral consensuses

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)

(COMMENTARY: FROM AN AMERICAN CITIZEN TO THE GOVERNMENT AND TO THE PEOPLE OF CHINA, THIS POLICY FLIP FLOP IS 100% FROM THE IGNORANT EGOMANIAC BRAIN OF THE STUPID ASS WHO SITS IN THE OVAL OFFICE IN THE WHITE HOUSE, THIS IS NOT THE WISHES OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE NOR OF AMERICAN BUSINESSES.)(OLDPOET56)

 

China says US trade move contrary to bilateral consensuses

Xinhua

China’s Ministry of Commerce said yesterday that the US trade statement is contrary to the consensuses the two sides have previously reached in Washington.

Calling the White House statement as unexpected and within expectation, the ministry said whatever measures the United States will take, China has the confidence, capability and experience to defend the interests of Chinese people and the core interests of the country, the ministry said on its website.

Earlier yesterday, the US said it will continue pursuing action on trade with China.

By June 15, Washington will release a list of US$50 billion worth of Chinese goods that will be subject to a 25 percent tariff, the White House said in a statement.

By June 30, the US will announce investment restrictions and “enhanced export controls” for Chinese individuals and entities “related to the acquisition of industrially significant technology,” it said.

 

 

China Says Trade War With The U.S. Is Not An Option

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI DAILY NEWS)

A potential trade war should not be used as an “option” to spoil Chinese-American relations as the two countries are able to resolve bilateral trade disputes through dialogue, Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng said yesterday.

China and the United States, the world’s largest traders, should work together to promote trade and investment, said Gao, speaking at a briefing in Beijing.

A good relationship between the two countries not only benefits both sides but helps global economic growth and recovery amid a still weak momentum, Gao said.

US President Donald Trump pledged during his election campaign to raise import duties on Chinese goods to 40 percent but he has yet to take formal action. He also said he would declare China an “exchange rate manipulator.”

However, in a phone conversation earlier this month to Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump said that the United States was ready to work with China to take bilateral ties to new historic heights.

Gao said yesterday China would not comment too much on what the US president said during his election campaign, but would focus on the new American government’s attitude toward trade with China.

“As a consensus reached between leaders of the two countries, cooperation was the only right choice for China and the US,” Gao said.

Whatever changes in the US policy toward China, the trade relations between the two nations will eventually return to “the track of mutual benefits and win-win,” he said.

China is now America’s largest trading partner and its third largest export destination after Canada and Mexico, according to a report from the US-China Business Council.

China’s direct investment in America hit a record high of US$45 billion in 2016, a threefold increase on 2015.

Robust bilateral trade and investment have supported some 2.6 million jobs in the US, according to the report.

“A trade war should not become an option,” Gao said. “If the two sides fight, both will be hurt.”

The US last year replaced China as the world’s largest trader as China’s foreign trade declined.

Gao yesterday said China would not seek a “blind expansion in exports‚“ as it could undermine the country’s resources and environment.

China would instead gain new grounds through improved standards, techniques, brands and services.

Addressing China’s tightening inspection on outbound investment since late last year, Gao said measures were being taken to control irrational and blind outbound investment, where companies made huge investment into high risk areas and fields unrelated to their core businesses.

The commerce minister said the government would guide companies to make more prudent and rational outbound investment while improving rules to facilitate outbound investment and protect the rights of investors.