The Point: What does the China-U.S. trade war mean for Asia?



hopes are high that a resolution on trade can be reached when the leaders of China and the u.s. meet later this week but what obstacles stand in the way of a successful outcome and what are the economic implications of a trade dispute for Asia welcome to the point an opinion show coming to you from Beijing I'm the Chilean sitting in for Lucian Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump are said to have an extended meeting at the g20 summit in Japan the meeting aims to lay the groundwork for a resolution to the young going trade dispute between the US and China but how realistic is it that the two sides will be able to seek a resolution and what obstacles might prevent a consensus being reached joining me in discussion here are mr. Ouyang vice president of China Institute of International Studies miss Chu Tsai hua from Chinese Academy of international trade and economic cooperation and institution affiliated to China's Ministry of Commerce and also mr. Timothy Stafford Chairman at the Americans came BIR of commerce here in China who is also a managing partner at Covington and Burling Beijing office welcome to you all so now China has repeatedly emphasized its trade agreement with us must be balanced equal and mutually beneficial and foreign minister Wang Yi also stressed at the UN General Assembly that China will not yield to be blackmailed or yield to pressure so talk to me first of all mr. let me start with you what do you see as the requirement of a balanced and equal and mutually beneficial trade deal well literally equality means the state of being equal in terms of the trade agreement between the US and China it means the state of being equal in especially in terms of status and rights here I think two points need to be stressed first being equal means to be to show respect for the differences between the two countries in social and economic systems developmental stages and the development path and the role and rights and also core interest and the other major concerns therefore each side should do not cross the others rebel eyes for example some grantees must not be must not be on the mind and also development rights should be respected just as the the prime minister of Singapore Lisi role said during the Shang gorillas this this year's generalist and realist Soros dialogue held in Singapore no one should expect others to adopt the same economic and cultural system and an even political system and a cultural value and it is neither realistic nor reasonable to force others to do so and the diversity of the world should be respected I think both China and the US need to make full use of these strengths of diverse diversity diversity should be respected that is the Chinese effective here but their stress or how about the u.s. perspective what is the how big is the gap between the Chinese ultimate goal and the u.s. ultimate goal here well trade negotiators from both countries have said that they think that the negotiations were already about 90% there of course they also told me that some of the hardest issues were left for the very end so I think that there's been a lot of progress I think the idea that the agreement needs to be equal it's hard to explain or understand what equal exactly means but I think both sides need to see that entering into the agreement is is in their own best interest and certainly there are ways you can approach the negotiations that are more likely to be successful and some that maybe make negotiation harder but I think that the the professional trade negotiator from both countries have made an extraordinary effort through 11 rounds they've gotten 90% of the way there and I think we can hope that at Osaka the two presidents will fully authorised their trade negotiators to try to close the gap of the remaining 10% how important is China is that for China to get a equal and fair and balanced mutually beneficial deal well I think the principles professor to us mentioned are very important at not only when negotiations in any negotiations with the United States but also I think as in kind of if I can save a doctrine of China's foreign policy in all negotiations with other countries and I think that also applies to the United States when look at dia in terms of principle they also I mean I mean on the trade that instead of na I think instead of a free trade we talked we heard a lot in the u.s. Apple can buy fair trade my understanding by a fair trade certainly that many interpretation but here I think it also applies that the to the negotiated had to treat each other with a sense of certainly I mean with equality but also sincerity so I think these principles are very important but I agree with things that we are very much looking for how these principles will be applied but more more MORE and the most important thing whether they were able to get to that 10 percent that I left over you mentioned that some the hardest issue are left in the end but coming into the negotiation the US side has made it clear they want to make a deal that is more beneficial to the US the president of United States Donald Trump even said himself that any deal with China cannot be 50/50 I mean how can us expect to find a fair solution or a resolution when it is not prepared to offer equal stands or equals terms to China well my my advice to international observers is to not pay all that much attention to present Trump's tweets as far as interpreting that the overall policy of the United States his tweets are meant to have a political impact in the United States at a very particular point in time I think that later on he'll say that the agreement reached is very much in China's interest as well as in the United States so I don't think we should spend too much time worrying about the president's tweets because his tweets say a lot of different things at different times to different audiences that itself is an interesting question here should we interpret his tweet as his in tendency of his policy or not that's the debate point itself but is it unclear about you is going to meet whom halfway here mister what do you think I think Donald Trump's our idea about China and US traded trade negotiations still we still need time to push forward and the three things maybe like lay foundations for this groundwork first both sides need to reassess reassess the the impact of the current the ongoing trade war on the each size economy and the society and even the world second outside need to reroute to narrow their differences in the current negotiation see especially what China can most concern is that the removal of additional tariffs and also the the realistic needs of the China's purchase of u.s. products and thirdly the a balance the text of the trade agreement I think this is the has actually very clearly explained as and shown in China's position on its trade consultation with yes so how's your China prepare for the meeting with Trump should we like mr. Stafford just mentioned disregard all the provocative tweets from Trump altogether I think the so far after the telephone conversation are between the two president the two had that I mean delegations negotiating teams and they are being instructed to communicate and before the summit before the meeting so I would expect that there must be something I mean coming out after their meetings and so that see if there any way out if there any new ideas coming out to address the remaining what 10% and by certainly from Chinese perspective by following the principles and the other channels we do and in this regard the Chinese has made it very clear that the two sides have to work together to accommodate each other's legitimate concern in a balanced and a reasonable way in other words my understanding is the China is ready to work with the United States to find a solution to that then the question is how the United States will be able to prepare to that and for this in regard and in this regard I think president Trump twists despite I think Tim's advice is significant for Chinese observers at least I see right how do you react the what's been said here well I think I think the negotiators want to reach a deal I think they're trying to good faith to do that and I think we hope that the politicians will give them enough space to get the job done whether they will give the negotiators enough space Trump initiated a phone call conversation last week with President Xi what do you read from president Trump's reaching out this time do you think is able to deviate from his maximum pressure policy well I think I think maximum pressure is also matched with opening the door and putting out a hand of friendship I think we can see him go back and forth you know with different leaders around the world and the way he reacts to them I think we just need to keep our eye on that on the overall goal and do what we need to do to get to get there I think to be honest I think that President Trump is not desperate to get a deal I think that his own political calculation is that he shows that he's very tough on China in some sense that that might be okay but I don't think that's a sensible approach for us-china relations overall and I don't think that's what the business community wants I don't think it's what people in both countries want and I think that President Trump will see that and he'll show enough flexibility to get the deal done but it's it's very difficult to call at this point because I think he's the most unpredictable president that we've had in my lifetime and that's going back 65 years and what are some of the key factors is going to be discussed at the Osaka meeting this time is true I do believe there will be old touches left in the previous round of negotiations such as I mentioned the the removal of all the additional tariffs and also they did the real estate needs of the day the realistic of China's purchase of us it's the u.s. products and also how to make a deal that is mutually accept acceptable in terms of its text I think these are all the old questions and issues very tough issues for both sides to renegotiate I don't think China will get any retreat from these positions because China has made very clear on its position these three respects therefore I think the key is on the United States side whether it has been prepared to make some withdrawal or will make some concessions from their offerings or from their demands so I think the possibility of reaching a negotiated agreement really depends on the US side not on the Chinese side China is not prepared to retreat on certain terms what do you think mr. the biggest sticking point now and how likely the two are going to meet some kind of middle ground here I think the as far I'm concerned if we followed the the news release of the telephone conversation certainly the trade issues was a major theme major subject but as also I think as since this is the sort of second summit a I mean in six model six months after the meeting in last December envelope in China so I would assume that there there are other bigger issues border issues need to be discussed and since you're going to be an extended meeting so that the news press release also said that I would be talk about the fundamental issues for the relationship so certainly I see trade issues very important and I think President Xi at continued ear press really also mentioned the Chinese enterprises Chinese so it should be treated fairly and in a way that will help the relationship but the other border issues like Taiwan issues under under the overall relationship how presence Trump view the over relationship because that is also very much concerned and lot of our the matter with lateral observers believe this is the root cause or this is even more important than the trading issue trade issue is only the symptom that there are bigger issues structural issues need to be managed if not icing fixed final remarks goes to you mr. Strafford how how challenging is the do you think for both sides United States and China to build trust in the long run I think it's I think it's very challenging and that's why we need to work so hard to make sure that it happens I completely agree one of my concerns is that even if we can reach a trade deal and there are tough issues remaining I you know the best-case scenario out of a shock is the president's walk out and say we've instructed our trade negotiators to go back to the table that's the best case and they still have a lot work to do but even if we do that we still have other things where the two governments have very different views and they can undermine even the goodwill that's created if we get a good trade agreement so we need to work very hard on these other issues and each country needs to put a lot of understanding the legitimate needs of the other side re thank you for all your analysis coming up after the break how has the us-china trade dispute complicated the global picture and can the g20 summit settle the wider concerns of international actors the escalating us-china trade war would jeopardize global growth according to the latest assessment by the International Monetary Fund it is calculated the president Trump laid a thread of tariffs could see global GDP contract by a third of a percent this year rising to half a percent in 2020 so how would this impact emerging economies and how can these troubling predictions be avoided joining me on the phone from : Poor's professor Sufjan jouso director at the Institute of Malaysia and International Studies in New Delhi professor Suarez sang from Jawaharlal Nehru University and in our Beijing studio mr. Garcia senior fellow at the China Institute of International Studies welcome to you all so now report has suggested that China's economic slowdown could hurt Asian economies like Singapore that have greater trade links with China and Malaysia may also find its impact as well so let me start with Professor Joo so who is joining me on the phone you are joining me from Kuala Lumpur how are regional governments they are reacting to the situation and how do you read the intentions behind the trade war and the damage it has caused okay I think it's a bit of a shock because both Malaysia and Singapore have relied on trade we have more than 100 percent of the GDP for Malaysia international trade counts about 140 percent for Singapore is about 200 percent and we have to restore the eyes we have a lot of value chain products being with China and both the United States so what happen is I think the government in both countries Malaysia and Singapore are strategizing on what to do how to position themselves not only dealing with the possible relocation but also on how to find a new market then at the same time we are also facing threats from the United States government because they have put our currencies on on the watch so this is a quite a tricky situation looking at India India has also been on on the watch and so so for ASEAN Malaysia and Singapore they really have to strategize looking at a new way of doing business and how to find a solution to the straight being exported orientated economy they're bound to feel a sizable impact right they sell many intermediate goods to China that are made into products then exported to us but earlier this month Trump removed to India's favorable trade treatment from the generalized system of preferences that is the program designed to help developing countries sell to US consumers I want to get an Indian perspective on this the Trump administration is also caught on China to abandon a status as a developing country professor saying some see the tariffs being issued under the pretext of a trade deficit as a measure to contain emerging economies like India and China the two largest developing countries do you agree with that no doubt there is a geopolitics behind these tariff hikes in the name of trade deficit when you look at the trade deficit with India it's really very small it's about 21 billion u.s. dollars it's not much I can understand the trade deficit with you with China is much bigger and India head of you know had this privilege of you know this having a special arrangement for certain section of its exports to United States for almost since early 1970s so there is no doubt there is the politics determining these kind of initiatives and the strong leader addressing his own constituency pushing America first and he is doing it and I think this creates much more opportunities in fact word disruption in today's discourses is seen more as an opportunity than challenged and I think this provides in almost space for emerging economies to find their own alternative ways of dealing with this problem of global economy being impacted with first and the second largest economy having trade tensions so I assume that there is going to be greater cooperation with China and other emerging economies I understand as United States is raising tariffs against Chinese exports to United States China at the same time is becoming lenient and then bringing down tariffs for exports of other countries to China so that will immediately have a positive impact on how other countries build their economic engagement with China and I think this will partly also address the deficit problem that India has had with China so we might see a specifically India's exports to China increasing but there is a bigger responsibility that both China and India and other emerging economies have her I think this constant tension triggered by United States economic sanctions and trade tariffs is rattling the global economy and in that sense I think there is a emerging focus now this week at g20 as to how the other 19 – united states are going to come together and provide a certain amount of direction to the global economy to ensure that the growth rates do not slide the way they have been kind of projected by various institutions and I think this in that sense will bring emerging economies China on the lead much closer together to find alternative solutions to how to address the problem of global economy and growth rates shrinking triggered by the tariffs and economic sanctions of President Donald Trump mr. Gela me bring you into this what do you make of what's being said here finding new opportunities in such a challenging time because we have heard Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping standing side by side both supported globalization and opposed unilateralism at the SCO meeting held in mid-june in Kyrgyzstan do you see the strong partnership taking shape in creating some kind of a global front against the rising protectionism yes actually charms were us major trading partners bringing pressures and the challenges to everyone related hi were also bring opportunities for the you as trading partners get gather to enhance the cooperation in several in the wide range of areas ranging from the policy issues like a enhancing the globalization multilateralism to concrete bilateral multilateral free trade a corporation especially for China and India both of them now under pressures of the trade war from the United States such approaches will suddenly improved momentum for further and the wider cooperation between the two largest of the important countries in Troy and investment and many other areas yeah both economies are somehow involved in a dispute with the United States and we've heard Chinese Vice foreign minister saying that trick fictions between China and the United States and the fear of trade frictions between us and India may become a crucial subject for talks between China and India so mr. yang over to you once again how is China responding to this situation what can China and India do together to find out what's being called trade bullying from the US well I think the current situation provides a both challenges and opportunities in terms of opportunities I think that the current situation for both China and India try best effort to diversify their respected overseas market needless to say China both China and India has been on high degree of dependence on US market but because of all the protectionism and a unilateral in from tromelin reason China and India have to do some measures rebalance our trading structure primarily the two countries will try the child will try to make John address to his pro both the domestic markets enhance the Indian China pilot or trader so in short challenges facing the United States but opportunities when Indian China face to face professor saying your thoughts on this is this going to become a concern not only for China and India but also for other countries in the region as well definitely when you have larger economies in trouble with each other it's going to have impact on the global economy and of course smaller economies and least developed countries would get impacted as well but I think important to understand is that in principle this is creating a space for developing nations to look at alternatives for example RCEP is one area where you have this whole emerging group of largest free trading area possibility where you have united states not there so will the xix be able to do something together or some of the 19 for example indian prime minister has proposed that this week at g20 there should also be Russia China India national leaders meeting so obviously they are going to explore opportunities at the same time important to understand not to be too ambitious because each of these three countries Russia China India share a very different relationship with United States India is now the defense partner major defense partner of United States we have our own set of India has its own set of problems with United States which would include our purchases of defense equipment from Russia issues of visas issues of opening our data for free transmission around the world so each of these three countries would have their own set of issues with the United States but at the same time I think this trading issue is what is uniting them together and there is a limited bandwidth where we could think of these three nations building some kind of joy strategies they have always from 1999 had their own perceptions of global and regional issues which have always been at variance with United States so this is only upgrading their foreign ministers trilateral to our national leaders coming together but Russia China India do have a certain space where they can expand their cooperation to address problems both of trade and I think more immediately the problem of oil crisis where China and India are not able to purchase oil from Iran and Venezuela so Russia could be a potential supplier there is a certain complementarity here among these three nations but I think we need to be also pragmatic and not be over ambitious as to what can be achieved from these three nations working together to deal the challenges thrown up by the United States and Professor Joseph want to get your thoughts on what's going to happen next if President Trump goes ahead with the additional tariffs on 300 billion US dollars more Chinese imports despite a report Lee suspension what would be the consequence for Southeast Asian economies and do you think is it likely that we're going to reverse that decision at this times g20 summit if the United States continued with the ice isolationist and protectionist and mercantilists approach then we have to find another alternative which is to look into our set and regional arrangements ourselves without the United States Saudi are going to lose out and become isolated we cannot go back to the 19th century mentality to address domestic politics by using international partners to sponsor so I think this is this is very clear thank you so much for your analysis that's professor Sufjan Josefa Institute of Malaysia and International Studies professor Suarez saying joining us from New Delhi at Joe Hollow narrow University and also here in Beijing professor professor Yan Cu senior fellow at China Institute of International Studies and that's all from this edition of the point as always follow us on Facebook and Twitter using 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15 thoughts on “The Point: What does the China-U.S. trade war mean for Asia?

  • Just in case those you don’t live in the states, the rhetoric had gotten out of hand. They attacked China and used the mainstream media to lambast that China did it so they have to take actions. US revoked students visas and blamed china slowed in issuing their academia visas. US warships sailed through the Taiwan straight and accused China of military provocations in the areas. US prevent Chinese exchange students from partaking higher scientific projects because it claims of national security, but it plagiarism with Xianjiang, and Hong among, and Tawain. US hacked to Chinese system, while blasting China for doing it. The most heart breaking part is that the mainstream media did not voice it oppositions, nor hosting guests with the oppositions as it should be questioned and critical of their government actions. The mainstream media had been carrying out the lambasting narrative for justifying the government actions while there are no opposition occurs. If China give in and compromise, US will accuse other Chinese companies of national securities, steal and cheating. This is long lasting accusations will effect implant another generation with sentiment toward Chinese. US need to clean up its messes and correct itself before agreement met.

  • it means business, jobs and money. hopefully they don't leave the workers behind and destroy the environment to.

  • There will be no deal!
    Whether 25% tariff on remaining 300 billion take effect immediately after Donald Duck walk out of the meeting room, or 2 months after eye-wash so-called trade negotiation, doesn't bring any difference.
    Is it that hard to predict who will emerge as victor 5 years down the road?

  • China is very smart and hard working and controlling , the US would do well to spread the supply chain, and so move away from China trade.

  • China is a police state, they have no respect for the individual, that's what a police state means, Hong Kong shows the faith it's people have for China. Little.

  • US actually believes China will fail to exist without US markets. China should just give a 25% discount to the world for not paying with the dollar. US basically has nothing without skimming off the dollars use.

  • 1) don't be confident of sweet talk in US-China trade impasse. One demanding and another side equally resistant.
    2) other issues will jeopardize the summit especially those relating to sovereignty.

  • Don't waste time talking to US in any deal. They want unequal benefits advantage to themselves. Not only that, the US want China to change certain fundamental economic and political system in term of trade or policies. Which crazy country would accede to this kind of ridiculous and ludicrous demands.

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