See More on Facebook

Analysis, Economics

China courts the EU as global trade war against US heats up

Both Chinese state media and diplomats have been courting the EU as countries across the globe put in place retaliatory tariffs against the United States.


Written by

Updated: July 6, 2018

The European Union, Mexico, China and Canada have put in place retaliatory tariffs against Trump’s economic policies. As more and more measures are put in place, the Chinese governments have been reaching out to the EU both to increase trade and economic solidarity.

Premier Li Keqiang called on the European Union to work with China to cope with challenges by expanding cooperation and common interests amid rising unilateralism and protectionism, according to the China Daily.

Li made the comment on a phone call with EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday, a day ahead of his visit to Bulgaria and Germany.

According to the China Daily, Li said China must work with the EU in upholding multilateralism; promoting trade liberalization and investment facilitation; and safeguarding world peace, stability and development.

Diplomatic sources tell ANN that China has used back channels to float the idea of filing a joint Chinese-EU complaint with the World Trade Organization over US actions. So far Brussels has rebutted such measures over fears of increasing Chinese influence and the EU’s unease at Chinese expansion into Central and Eastern Europe.

Central and Eastern Europe 

Central and Eastern European countries play a very important role in the Belt and Road Initiative and China’s trade with Europe. The inclusion of the “16+1 cooperation” mechanism in the Belt and Road Initiative is one of the most important and promising elements for the CEE countries, according to Chinese state media.

The 16 CEE countries see China as a relevant market and a valuable source of investment, at least at the declarative level. The differences across the region are significant in many areas, including the economic development level, per capita income and institutional framework.

And Brussels is concerned about reciprocity and access to the Chinese market for European companies.

Li, in a statement, said that he has made an effort to calm the EU worries about Chinese inroads into Eastern and Central Europe.

On the upcoming seventh Leaders’ Meeting of China and Central and Eastern European Countries in Bulgaria this week, Li told Juncker that China firmly supports European integration and wants to see a united, stable and developing EU.

China-CEEC cooperation is an open, transparent and inclusive cross-regional organization, and a vital part of and helpful supplement to China-EU relations, Li said.

The world’s second-largest economy has adhered to international rules and EU laws and regulations in its cooperation with CEE nations, which is beneficial to more balanced development in Europe and its integration process, the premier said.

European companies are welcome to join the “16+1” mechanism to achieve win-win outcomes.

China will not fire first shot against US in trade war

China will “absolutely not” fire the first shot in a trade war with the United States and will not be the first to levy tariffs, the Ministry of Finance said on Wednesday.

The ministry’s comments came as certain foreign media, citing anonymous sources, said China’s tariffs on $34 billion of US goods would take effect from the beginning of the day on Friday. Given the 12-hour time difference, that would have put its implementation ahead of Washington’s.

“The Chinese government has stated its position many times. We absolutely will not fire the first shot and will not implement tariff measures ahead of the US doing so,” the Ministry said.

The trade spat between the world’s two largest economies has been in the spotlight for about three months, since US President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum in March threatening tariffs on Chinese imports.

The US said it would add tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports on July 6. China was forced to respond in kind.

Li Yong, a senior fellow with the China Association of International Trade, said the unilateral actions of the Trump administration are shortsighted and counterproductive.

“They go against both global interests and the long-term interests of the two countries involved. The consequences of these actions might not be what the White House expects, and in the end, they will only serve to hurt the US itself,” Li said.

Fitch Ratings’ report says the global multiplier effect of lower US imports could be significant, and US outward foreign direct investment would probably fall. Along with weaker confidence and lower investment, a global tariff shock would also hit job creation.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Cod Satrusayang
About the Author: Cod Satrusayang is the Managing Editor at Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Analysis, Economics

China releases a white paper detailing trade war stance

White paper warns US actions risk global economic woes. China published a white paper on Sino-US trade frictions on Monday, defending the legitimacy of its positions on trade and innovation practices while accusing the United States of trade bullying and intimidation. The document was released as a new round of tariff hikes between the two sides took effect amid growing concern over undermining global growth. On Monday, new US levies on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods came into force, followed by Beijing’s new tariffs on about $60 billion worth of US imports. It showed that Sino-US tariff tensions that had grown for the past several months had hit a new high point, observers said. On the same day, China released the white paper — The Facts and China’s Position on China-US Trade Friction — which aims to clarify facts about the bilateral economic and trad


By China Daily
September 26, 2018

Analysis, Economics

Cooperating on energy in face of tariffs

At Houston oil and gas industry forum, US, China executives discuss future. The US energy industry expects a strong long-term energy relationship with China, a US energy official told US and Chinese oil and gas executives the day after China announced a retaliatory 10 per cent tariff on US natural gas. Steve Winberg, US Energy Department assistant secretary for fossil energy, on Wednesday assured the energy executives that the US has never revoked a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export authorization, nor plans to do so. “Some potential exporters and financiers have expressed concern that the US may rescind or revoke LNG export authorization. Let me be very clear that these concerns are unfounded,” Winberg said on Wednesday at the opening of the two-day 18th US-China Oil and Gas Industry Forum in Houston. The forum has been a collaboration of the US Energy Department, Ch


By Cod Satrusayang
September 25, 2018

Analysis, Economics

Swift assistance needed to rehabilitate Hokkaido’s quake-stricken industries

To realize Hokkaido’s post-quake rehabilitation, it is indispensable to rebuild its industries. A half month has passed since the Hokkaido earthquake, which registered the highest level on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7. A power blackout that spread to all parts of the prefecture has been resolved. The No. 1 unit at the Tomato-Atsuma thermal power plant — a facility that plays a central role in the supply of electricity there — has been brought back on line. The government has withdrawn its request for power-saving, and neon lighting has returned to flourishing areas in Sapporo. However, scars from the earthquake have not yet healed. Even if the amount of direct damage, including that caused to roads, rivers and forest land, is calculated alone, the figure exceeds ¥150 billion. There are still many disaster victims in evacuation centers. T


By The Japan News
September 25, 2018

Analysis, Economics

Maldives strongman Abdulla Yameen in shock election defeat

The Maldivian election was watched closely as an indicator of China’s growing influence in the Indian Ocean region. Maldives strongman Abdulla Yameen’s hopes for a second presidential term were dashed on September 24 with opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih defeating him in the country’s elections. After a months-long sweeping crackdown on the opposition and a brief state of emergency imposed by the autocratic Yameen, the election on September 23 was preceded by a bitter campaign during which opposition leaders frequently accused the ruling regime of rights abuses and oppression. Several independent news websites reported that after the counting of a majority of the votes, Solih had won more than 58 per cent of the votes to 41 per cent for Yameen. Hours after the emergence of the informal results, Yameen conceded defeat to Solih during a televised news conference, saying: “Mal


By Lamat R Hasan
September 25, 2018

Analysis, Economics

Moon, Trump discuss ‘corresponding measures’ for NK denucelarization

South Korean President Moon Jae-in arrived in New York on Sunday for a bilateral summit with US President Donald Trump that is partly aimed at brokering a second US-North Korea summit. South Korean President Moon Jae-in and US President Donald Trump on Monday discussed possible ways to reward North Korea for its denuclearization measures that will apparently include a second US-North Korea summit. “The leaders agreed to continue communicating closely about corresponding measures,” said Kim Eui-kyeom, a spokesman for South Korea’s presidential office Cheong Wa Dae. In their bilateral summit held in New York, the leaders of South K


By The Korea Herald
September 25, 2018

Analysis, Economics

Disruption seen from auto parts duty in US-China trade war

US tariffs on Chinese auto parts will probably result in higher prices and could disrupt the global automotive supply chain industry. The Trump administration has imposed a new 10 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods that takes effect on Sept 24. Beginning on Jan 1, the tariffs will increase to 25 percent. China retaliated with $60 billion of new tariffs on US products. The new levies target more than 100 automotive products including engines, gaskets, rubber seals, tires and transmission shafts. Tariffs are basically taxes on the consumer, and all costs increases within the supply chain will eventually be passed along to the consumer, according to Peter Nagle, senior automotive analyst at IHS Markit. “In the short-term, suppliers might absorb some of the cost of the tariff but eventually they will have to raise prices or resource product from elsewhere, which also will rai


By China Daily
September 24, 2018