Interview: Bullying China no winning strategy for U.S.: scholar

CHICAGO, May 16 (Xinhua) — U.S. bullying will not work on China and a win-win solution is needed to end their trade tensions, an expert on U.S.-China ties has said.

“Be clear: the American farmers, manufacturers and consumers are paying the price” of Washington’s trade war, said Tom Watkins, an advisor to the Michigan-China Innovation Center, in a recent interview with Xinhua.

The United States increased the additional tariffs on 200 billion U.S. dollars’ worth of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent on Friday, and has threatened to raise tariffs on more Chinese imports.

In response, China has announced that it will raise additional tariffs on a range of U.S. imports from June 1, and “will fight to the end.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang pointed out Wednesday that it is the United States that started the trade disputes, and what China has done so far is purely self-defense to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests as well as to uphold multilateralism and the free trade system.

The approach of trying to embarrass, bully and intimidate China is not going to be a winning strategy for the United States in the long run, Watkins said.

He expressed the hope that the United States and China could reach a win-win compromise before more harm is done to the American people.

“It is important to all a win-win solution is found soon,” Watkins said, adding that the only way forward is a win-win deal for both sides to move forward.

“U.S. companies made an economic and business decision to play by China’s rules to have access to China’s market of 1.4 billion consumers. CEOs and shareholders got rich doing so,” he said.

The United States needs to understand that its greatest fear should not be China’s success but its failure, Watkins said, because “when China stumbles, the world will tumble.”

The U.S.-China relationship remains the most important bilateral relationship in the world today, Watkins said. “How we resolve this immediate dispute will impact the people of America, China and all of humanity.”

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