Trade conflict between the U.S. and China has been reigniting in recent weeks. U.S. President Donald Trump lashed out at China for spending the money it earned from its trade with the U.S. on military expansion. “We will end our dependence on China,” stressed Trump. In response, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi immediately criticized the U.S. for putting Chinese tech companies under pressure and the Chinese state media warned of retaliation, mentioning a possibility of selling U.S. government bonds.
At a press conference held on Monday (local time) marking the Labor Day, President Trump said, “There’s been no country anywhere at any time that’s ripped us off like China has,” adding that China spends that money on building their military. “It’s very lucky that I’ve been building ours up because otherwise we’d be dwarfed right now by China,” said Trump. “We’ll end our reliance on China, once and for all, whether it’s decoupling or putting in massive tariffs like I’ve been doing already.”
The Trump administration has recently cracked down on Chinese tech companies, such as Huawei, TikTok, and WeChat, officially designating them as national threats. In particular, Washington is considering placing SMIC, China’s No. 1 foundry company, on its export restriction list. The U.S. is launching a series of attacks also in the finance sector, announcing plans to delist Chinese companies that fail to comply with U.S. accounting standards.
For its part, Beijing is bracing for Washington’s threat to cut off economic ties with China. In a column, “Beijing ponders measures to offset U.S. decoupling attempt” in The Global Times on Sunday, the writer said China will turn its back on all unfriendly economies and will seek to form closer economic partnerships along the Belt and Road Initiative, particularly with the economics of the European Union, Asia, and Africa. The column added that Beijing should “take its own destiny in its own hands” as the Trump administration has embarked on its bid to decouple itself from China.