No matter what happens, China will not the take the first step to stop the trade war with the US, a Chinese state-run newspaper has said. It reasoned that the Donald Trump administration has made unreasonable demands, and is attempting to force its terms down Beijing's throat.
The reasoning for why China will not back down was outlined in the Chinese government-owned Global Times. The editorials of this newspaper are usually watched closely because it is more the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC), disseminating party thought processes as a testing ground.
The Global Times editorial said China has so far kept its word and retaliated in kind to the tariffs imposed by the US. It pointed out that the Chinese economy would continue to grow with or without a trade war, and that being in one would only make China's economy stronger.
"Since the beginning, China's stance has been explicit, namely, China does not want a trade war but is not afraid of one. China will not punch first. We will not be the first to launch the trade war, nor will we take measures to escalate it. But each and every time the US imposes tariffs on us, we will launch countermeasures with similar scale," read the editorial.
"So why can't Beijing make some concessions to cease the trade war? If China and the US conduct normal trade talks, it is unavoidable that both sides need to make compromises. But the Trump administration has made unreasonable demands, and has tried to force Beijing to accept its terms while wielding a stick."
"China will never accept such rules. We just follow WTO rules. If China concedes even one inch, the US will for sure take a foot," it declared.
The editorial also reasoned that US President Donald Trump and his administration were blaming China for the US's trade deficit, which it referred to as a structural problem.
"Washington has unrealistic fantasies about 'balancing China-US trade.' It tries to solve US economic issues with sticks and threats rather than painstaking reforms. Simply put, it attempts to make a hard sell. The world is required to buy whatever the US produces at its convenience, and developing countries like China cannot make technological progress in the process," it argued.
The editorial also theorised that external difficulties would spur high-tech research in China, and that the growing domestic consumer market would make up for the loss of trade with the US that a trade war would cause.