Isolating China is not good (either) for the rest of the world

“China becomes the target of protectionism”, notes in a new editorial the Singaporean daily Lianhe Zaobao. Alarmed by the economic situation, he points to increasingly fierce protectionism and tense relations between China and several Latin American countries, including Mexico, Chile and Cuba.

While these countries once enjoyed cordial relations with Beijing, they have followed in the footsteps of the Americans and Europeans in recent weeks by increasing tariffs on imported Chinese steel products. “Colombia could also take similar measures,” completes the editorial.

“De-Sinicization” in progress

In the eyes of Lianhe Zaobao, restructuring of the global free trade system shows signs of “de-sinicization”, while China, the newspaper argues, is the world’s factory and is equipped with the most complete categories of production. This trend is not good news for global consumers, the headline argues.

The daily underlines the decisive role of Washington in the world economy. Since May 14, day the United States announced the increase in tariffs on Chinese electric vehiclesCanada is considering taking the same measures.

As for Germany, which has always been considered as a friend of China within the European Union on trade issuesshe also considered a “dismantling of Huawei and ZTE equipment for national security reasons”.

Shared wrongs

For Lianhe Zaobao, all these protectionist measures targeting China show that the latter is increasingly “the target of criticism” on the issue of export subsidies, and that it is increasingly “isolated” at an international level. At the same time, by citing Joe Biden’s accusations against Beijing, the newspaper seems to want to shed light on certain causes of this vicious situation which is not good for either the Middle Kingdom or the rest of the world. According to the American president, lists the title, China “uses its market in exchange for technologies, forces Western companies to transfer essential intellectual property rights, violates the principle of fairness and reciprocity in free trade”.

The other explanatory factor mentioned in the editorial is the Chinese position on the Russo-Ukrainian war, which is causing tensions in Sino-European relations. Because not only has Beijing not given in to pressure from Western countries, but it is strengthening cooperation with its northern neighbor. Both sides, China and the European Union, are beginning a new round of anti-dumping investigations – intended to prevent an exporting country from artificially lowering the price of a good in a foreign market. If left unchecked, these declines risk degenerating into a real trade war, warns Lianhe Zaobao.

If certain Western voices defend the “decoupling” with China, the Singaporean daily is concerned about the serious consequences of this trend which seeks to isolate Beijing, or even exclude China from the global free trade system. In this scenario, “the benefits of forty-five years of reform and opening up (of China) will be doomed to disappear”, the country will be “besieged on all sides”, and that “will harm its stability but also the foundations of prosperity and peace in the world”.

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