Xinhua Commentary: Healthy China-U.S. economic ties require true cooperation over self-interest-Xinhua

Xinhua Commentary: Healthy China-U.S. economic ties require true cooperation over self-interest

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-04-05 19:26:15

The U.S. Capitol Building is seen in Washington, D.C., the United States, Feb. 6, 2024. (Photo by Aaron Schwartz/Xinhua)

Talking up "Chinese overcapacity" in the clean energy sector also smacks of creating a pretext for rolling out more protectionist policies to shield U.S. companies.

BEIJING, April 5 (Xinhua) -- Before starting her second trip to China in less than a year, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen asserted her focus of "advancing a healthy economic relationship that provides a level playing field for American workers and firms."

When it comes to fair play in business and trade, isn't it Washington that should wean itself off the practice of abusing the national security pretext to elbow aside leading Chinese high-tech and clean energy companies?

It appears that Washington's notion of healthy economic ties is largely self-centered, prioritizing America's interests above all else. In contrast, China has, as always, been committed to nurturing an economic and trade relationship built on mutual benefits and win-win outcomes for all parties involved.

The divergence also exists in their ways of dealing with each other. China insists that the two countries should respect each other, coexist in peace and pursue win-win cooperation, while Washington, as Yellen said, aims to manage U.S.-China economic relations "from a position of strength."

This seems to be the modus operandi for Washington -- relentlessly aligning everything with its own interests while disregarding the perspectives and concerns of others.

That said, Yellen's six-day trip to China is still a good sign that the two largest economies are committed to maintaining the momentum of communication and coordination.

But for that momentum to be kept up, Washington needs to bear in mind that its long-lasting shortsightedness and obsession with a Cold-War mentality pose a grave threat to any progress in stabilizing bilateral ties.

Yellen's visit coincides with Washington's hyped-up rhetoric surrounding purported "Chinese overcapacity" in the clean energy sector, particularly in electric vehicles, lithium batteries, and solar cells. She has also become the target of online ridicule by U.S. netizens following her assertion that China's overcapacity "distorts global prices" and "hurts American firms and workers."

This photo taken on Jan. 10, 2024 shows a factory of Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker Li Auto Inc. in Changzhou, east China's Jiangsu Province. (Xinhua/Ji Chunpeng)

One scathing comment on Yahoo News encapsulates the widespread outrage: "Complaining about China building more green energy technology would be like if one weightlifter stopped training to complain that another weightlifter was lifting heavier weights."

This Sinophobic narrative of "Chinese overcapacity" is nothing but a rehash of the "China threat" rhetoric, only to undermine China's domestic growth and international cooperation.

It is a typically Washington-style double standard that surplus products finding markets abroad, a basic economic principle that Western nations have embraced for centuries, is wilfully branded as an "overcapacity problem" endangering the globe when it comes to China.

Contrary to an "overcapacity problem," the clean energy sector faces significant challenges in meeting global demand. Amidst urgent climate change concerns and widespread efforts towards energy transition, the gap between supply and demand for clean energy persists.

U.S. Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen addresses the jubilee gala marking the 50th anniversary of the U.S.-China Business Council (USCBC) in Washington, D.C., the United States, Dec. 14, 2023. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)

Talking up "Chinese overcapacity" in the clean energy sector also smacks of creating a pretext for rolling out more protectionist policies to shield U.S. companies. After all, it is now known by the world that Washington will not hesitate to show its protectionist teeth under the guise of national security in areas where its supremacy is challenged.

It is a totally groundless assertion that China is disrupting "global prices." The crux of the issue for advanced economies, as U.S. media outlets like Bloomberg have observed, lies in the efficiency and competitiveness of Chinese electric carmakers, including their technological prowess and modern transport infrastructure.

Instead of resorting to fear-mongering and protectionism, Washington should focus on fostering innovation and competitiveness within its own borders.

The first stop of Yellen's China trip is Guangzhou, a dynamic southern coastal metropolis celebrated for its critical role in shaping the nation's reform and opening-up policies. It also stands as a prime investment destination for numerous multinational corporations, including U.S. companies.

It is widely anticipated that during her stay in Guangzhou, Yellen will gain some insight into China's steadfast commitment to high-standard opening up, and see with her own eyes that the world's two largest economies may well contribute to each other's progress. 


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