Chinese state media yesterday lambasted US President Donald Trump’s trade policies in an unusually personal attack and sought to reassure investors worried about China’s economy as growth concerns rattled its financial markets.
China’s strictly controlled news outlets have frequently rebuked the US and the Trump administration as the trade conflict has escalated, but they have largely refrained from specifically targeting Trump.
The latest criticism from the overseas edition of the Chinese Communist Party’s People’s Daily newspaper singled out Trump, saying he was starring in his own “street fighter-style deceitful drama of extortion and intimidation.”
Trump’s desire for others to play along with his drama is “wishful thinking,” a commentary on the paper’s front page said, arguing that the US had escalated trade friction with China and turned international trade into a “zero-sum game.”
“Governing a country is not like doing business,” the paper said, adding that Trump’s actions imperiled the national credibility of the US.
The US and China implemented tariffs on US$34 billion of each other’s goods last month. Washington is expected to soon implement tariffs on an additional US$16 billion of Chinese goods, which China has already said it will match immediately.
On Friday, the Chinese Ministry of Finance unveiled new sets of additional tariffs on 5,207 goods imported from the US worth US$60 billion.
That move was in response to the Trump administration’s proposal of a 25 percent tariff on US$200 billion of Chinese imports.
The vitriol from the People’s Daily follows Trump’s comments on Twitter from Saturday in which he boasted that his strategy of placing steep tariffs on Chinese imports was “working far better than anyone ever anticipated” and that Beijing was now talking to the US about trade.
Trump cited losses in China’s stock market as he predicted the US market could “go up dramatically” once trade deals were renegotiated.
China’s stocks were lower yesterday as Beijing’s latest tariff threats escalated the tit-for-tat trade war, though the central bank’s efforts to shore up the tumbling yuan helped to stabilize the currency.
Michael McCarthy, Sydney-based chief market strategist at CMC Markets and Stockbroking, wrote in a note that any “further rhetorical exchanges” could curb investor enthusiasm.
McCarthy said that while China’s proposed new tariffs appeared proportionate, “White House tweets claiming an upper hand for the US over the weekend risk another round of confidence sapping exchanges.”
Yet, a flurry of articles in Chinese state media emphasized the resilience of China’s economy and downplayed concerns about the impact of the Sino-US trade war.
“Market participants foresee a relatively stable Chinese currency in the near term, without fear of impacts from the US-China trade dispute. They expect solid economic growth momentum amid policy fine-tuning,” an article in the official English-language China Daily newspaper said, citing Chinese economists.
On Friday, the People’s Bank of China said it would require banks to keep reserves equivalent to 20 percent of their clients’ foreign exchange forwards positions from yesterday, in a move to stabilize the yuan.
“Leading China’s economy on a stable and far-reaching path, we have confidence and determination,” another commentary in the main edition of the People’s Daily said.
The nationalist Global Times, responding in an editorial late on Sunday to White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow’s remarks that China should not underestimate Trump’s resolve, said China did not fear “sacrificing short-term interests.”
“China has time to fight to the end. Time will prove that the US eventually makes a fool of itself,” the Global Times said.
An Australian university student who has never visited China and has only a modest social media following would seem an unlikely target for the Chinese government. However, when a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman personally denounced Drew Pavlou at a news conference, it was just the next phase in an extraordinary campaign against the 21-year-old that has fueled concerns over China’s targeting of critics overseas. Pavlou first placed himself in the superpower’s sights when in July last year he organized a small sit-in at the University of Queensland, where he studies, to protest against various Chinese government policies. Since then, the Global
‘ASKED TO MOVE OUT’: Indonesian coast guard personnel argued with a Chinese vessel over territorial claims after it entered the country’s exclusive economic zone An Indonesian patrol ship confronted a Chinese coast guard vessel that spent almost three days in waters where Indonesia claims economic rights and that are near the southernmost part of China’s disputed claims to the South China Sea. The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency on Friday night detected Chinese ship 5204 entering Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in what Indonesia calls the North Natuna Sea. The agency sent a patrol ship that closed within 1km of the Chinese coast guard vessel and they communicated to affirm their position and their nation’s claims to the area, Indonesian Maritime Security Agency head Aan Kurnia said. “We
BEFORE WINTER COMES: Snow cuts off roads into Ladakh for four months or more each year, so the crunch is on to get food, tents and high-altitude equipment to Leh From deploying mules to large transport aircraft, the Indian military has activated its entire logistics network to transport supplies to thousands of troops for a harsh winter along a bitterly disputed Himalayan border with China. In the past few months, one of India’s biggest military logistics exercises in years has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh, a region bordering Tibet that India administers as a union territory, officials said. The move was triggered by a border standoff with China in the snow deserts of Ladakh that began in May and escalated in June into hand-to-hand
Since her personal telephone number was posted online, Hong Kong democracy advocate and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairperson Carol Ng has received menacing calls from strangers and been bombarded with messages calling her a “cockroach.” She is not alone. A sophisticated and shady Web site called HK Leaks has ramped up its “doxxing” — where people’s personal details are published online — of Hong Kong democracy advocates, targeting those it says have broken Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Promoted by groups linked to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party and hosted on Russia-based servers, HK Leaks has become the most prominent “doxxing”