A dark day in history of trade
It's finally here, the trade war the Trump administration has threatened to launch against China.
But the trade victory the administration has promised its people is now more illusive than ever.
Immediately after the 25-percent additional tariff on US$34 billion of imports from China took effect on Friday, China's retaliatory tariffs of equal scale went into force.
Facing a US administration representing a typical trade bully and trade terrorism, China had no choice but to stage counter-attacks to protect its core national interests and the interests of its people.
When the Trump administration pulled the trigger, it should have known the bullet would eventually shoot itself in the foot, and it is playing a dangerous economic gamble that is doomed to fail.
Since the Second World War, the United States has championed an economic order based on rules and norms and built credibility with its consistent foreign policy and Washington's commitment to upholding the core principles that trade makes alliances stronger, and that openness ultimately wins the day.
As a country who is lately consistently inconsistent, the United States of America is becoming the Unpredictable States of America. Its recklessness is foolishly leading the world into multiple traps.
A new type of "Cold War" has come into sight. By abusing tariffs based on domestic laws, the United States is weaponizing its economic and trade influence, destroying global industry chains and jeopardizing the recovery of the world economy.
It is also brutally trampling the multilateral trading system and destroying free trade by turning its major trading partners into imaginary enemies.
Playing tough with China has been viewed by some as a trump card of the Trump administration to win this year's mid-term election. That explains why President Trump has chosen hawkish allies such as US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and his trade adviser Peter Navarro, forming a "White House Triangle," to stand firmly against China.
The "White House Triangle" has been manic about safeguarding US hegemony. Lighthizer, known as "trade czar," is the architect of the "Plaza Accord" that devastatingly crippled the Japanese economy in the 1980s. Navarro is staunchly anti-China.
President Trump seems too assertive as he once said it is easy to win a trade war although he has no such experience whatsoever. Lighthizer should know that China is not Japan and a new "Plaza Accord" will go absolutely nowhere. The hawkish rhetoric of Navarro sounds appalling, but it is weak in essence.
The United States, the initiator of the trade war, is doomed to fail because economic globalization has become the irresistible trend of global economic development and progress of human civilization. It cannot and will not be stopped by unilateralism and trade protectionism, ideas the United States seems so intent on pursuing.
Countries should realize that a multilateral trade system is the cornerstone of international trade. They should keep a close eye out for the impact of unilateralism and trade protectionism on the world economy and possible recession and unite together to strengthen cooperation and safeguard the multilateral trade system and the interests of people around the globe.
The United States has ignored the interests of people around the globe to fulfill its "America First" purpose. The moves severely destroy the international trade order and completely obliterate the relationship with its trade partners.
China has never feared a trade war with the United States and has ample ammunition and alternatives to deal with the empty threats of the United States. The Chinese economy is resilient enough to withstand the impact of US tariffs both now, and in the future.
No matter how the external environment changes, China will stick to its own policies, development rhythm and people-centered development concept. The country's confidence and strength have improved by overcoming difficulties and dealing with pressure over 40 years of reform and opening-up.
The trade war with the United States will only make the Chinese economy stronger with more resilience.