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-US trade deal bullish news for both countries, rest of world

From Chinese state media. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Saturday that the China-US deal on the text of a phase-one economic and trade agreement serves as bullish news for both countries and the rest of the world. Speaking at a joint press conference with Slovenian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Miro Cerar, Wang said China has, as always, been opposed to settling economic and trade disputes by imposing tariffs as there is no winner in a trade war. China has also rejected the use of unilateral pressure as it violates the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), said Wang. He pointed out that following rounds of back-and-forth negotiations, China and the United States have agreed on the wording of a phase-one economic and trade agreement, and the US side has promised to phase out additional tariffs on Chinese products. The agreement demonstrates the spirit


By China Daily
December 16, 2019

Analysis, Economics

Myanmar to be sincere in implementing Rohingya repatriation deal

This according to the Bangladeshi Foreign Minister. Bangladesh expects that Myanmar would be more tolerant towards Rohingyas after facing trial at the International Court of Justice, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said today. “My expectation is that Myanmar would be sincere in implementing the bilateral deal that signed with Bangladesh on repatriating Rohingyas from Bangladesh,” he told journalists at his ministry office in Dhaka. “Myanmar has invited me before a case lodged with the International Court of Justice. In response, I told that I would go there when the Rohingyas will go back to Myanmar,” the foreign minister said. “I also invited Myanmar to visit Bangladesh to talk to their Rohingya people and to understand their expectations,” Momen said. Globally it has been established that there was a massive crime committed against the Rohingyas, that was des


By Daily Star
December 16, 2019

Analysis, Economics

10 US senators criticise Suu Kyi for representing military’s interest

Suu Kyi is in the Hague defending Myanmar from genocide accusations. Ten US Senators have severely criticized Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi for representing the military’s interest before the International Court of Justice and defending the mass atrocities committed against the Rohingyas and other ethnic minorities. “Representing the Burmese military’s interest before The Hague and defending the mass atrocities committed against the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities would undermine what remaining credibility you have before the international community, including in the US Congress,” said a letter to Suu Kyi issued on December 9. The Senators said a defense of the Burmese military at this high-profile international forum is also an affront to the inclusive, multi-cultural and democratic Burma that she claims to champion. They said when Buddhist nationalism is on the rise in


By Daily Star
December 13, 2019

Analysis, Economics

China, US in constant touch to resolve trade issues

China and the United States are in constant touch to resolve pending trade and economic issues, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday. The comment came ahead of Sunday’s US deadline for another scheduled round of tariff increases on Chinese imports worth almost $160 billion. If a trade deal is not struck by Sunday, computer monitors and toys will be among the Chinese export items likely to be affected. Gao Feng, a ministry spokesman, said the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council has already worked out tariff exemptions on some soybean, pork and other products shipped from the US — the latest sign of tensions easing in the protracted trade conflict. The US seems to resort to brinkmanship by using a tariff deadline to pressure China in the ongoing trade talks for a phase one, preliminary deal, said Chen Wenling, chief economist at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges


By China Daily
December 13, 2019

Analysis, Economics

India, China step up the wooing but Rajapaksa in no hurry to align Sri Lanka

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will try to balance the competing interests of China, India in the region. The conversation in regional capitals after the emphatic win of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the Sri Lankan elections last month centres around a central question: Will he manage to pull a Sheikh Hasina on India and China? The reference, of course, is to the Bangladesh Prime Minister who many believe has managed to successfully push her country’s interests by balancing the competing strategic ambitions of China and India in South Asia. And Rajapaksa knows a thing or two about protecting what he believes are his country’s core interests. After all, he braved the Western world’s intense criticism – and India’s acute discomfort given its large domestic Tamil population – of the means adopted by him as Defence Minister in his brother and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s


By Ishan Joshi
December 12, 2019

Analysis, Economics

Nepal moves up in Human Development Index but still lags behind in South Asia

Nepal’s human development index of 0,579 indicates that people are living longer, are more educated and have greater incomes, according to the Human Development Report. Despite global progress in tackling poverty, hunger and disease, a ‘new generation of inequalities’ indicates that many societies are not working as they should and Nepal is not an exception, according to a new human development report released on Tuesday. The old inequalities were based on access to health services and education whereas the new generation of inequalities is based on technology, education and the climate, according to the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report. “Previously, we talked about wealth as a major driver for inequality. Now, countries like Nepal are in another inequality trap and that concerns


By The Kathmandu Post
December 12, 2019