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Ambassador Cui: A trade war serves no meaningful purpose

China Daily USA | Updated: 2018-04-21 06:00

The prospects of China-US relations depend largely on the choices the two largest economies make today, and a trade war will only destroy trade itself, Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai said.

Speaking at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies of the Harvard University on Tuesday, Cui said that naturally, there are always problems between China and the US, because of their great difference in terms of history, culture, political system, and economic development.

"Recently there has been much talk about a possible trade war between China and the United States. I want to make it clear here: Trade is for mutual benefits. War is about mutual destruction. A trade war serves no meaningful purpose. It will only destroy trade itself," he said.

Cui said the two countries should distinguish different kinds of their differences. He said that on matters concerning sovereignty, territorial integrity and national reunification, there is no room for compromise, and there is a red line.

On economic and trade issues, solutions should be worked out through dialogue and consultation on the basis of mutual respect and balanced approach to address the concerns of each side aiming at win-win outcomes, Cui said.

"Looking forward, China-US relations will have tremendous opportunities as well as challenges," he said. "The prospects will very much depend on the choices we make today. It will depend on what kind of mindset we have to perceive ourselves, the world and our relations in this changing world."

For example, Cui said if people allow themselves to be dominated by Cold War zero-sum mentality, then they will see traps and conspiracy everywhere. And people could even become suspicious and fearful of new and positive ideas, such as the Belt and Road Initiative.

People could even become suspicious and fearful of cultural exchanges and language learning. And for no good reason whatsoever, they could make other people's dream their own nightmare, he said.

"If we have a more positive and cooperative mindset, we could see clearly the emerging trends in the world, seize new opportunities, and turn challenges into opportunities," Cui said. "That will bring about real benefits for the peoples of our two countries."

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