ISLAMABAD (A. F. Kakar): China does not want a “trade war” but it is not afraid of one and would fight one if necessary, Chinese Embassy Councilor Minister Lijian Zhao said during the Iftar party 2019, on Thursday.

Lijian Zhao said “Ambassador Yao Jing on the visit of Gwadar. He could not host you today and asked me to convey his greeting to all of you. I would like to thank all of you for your support for the Embassy and China Pakistan relationship.

He also appreciated the media role to build Pakistan-China relationship stronger and bridge between the two countries people to people relation.

China-US Relation

He expressed that since the 2008 the United States unilaterally initiated the trade friction with China. US is attempting to force China to make significant compromises or concessions.

This is only to serve 2 purposes: one is domestic politics namely the next US election, and number two is to contain China’s economic development, he added.

He stated that there are also concerns over an escalated trade war harming the world economy as well as claims that China is “backtracking” and “breaking promises”.

US attempted to achieve unreasonable demands through maximum pressure. He added.

This wouldn’t work from very beginning. When its threats didn’t work and led to widespread doubts and market fluctuations at home and abroad, US resorted to muddying the waters & shifting the blame, Lijian Zhao said.

He said first, there has also been no change of position as far as China is concerned. China addresses differences through dialogue and consultation, because this is in the interests of not only China and the US but also the international community.

China Send High-level delegation to US

In the face of the US threats to raise tariffs, China still sent a high-level delegation to the US for talks as agreed, out of consideration for the bigger picture and showing sincerity and goodwill, he conveyed.

He revealed that at the same time, China takes a firm stance on safeguarding its legitimate interests. As differences emerge in any negotiations, twists and turns are inevitable, but the two sides should respect each other, treat each other as equals and strive for a mutually-beneficial deal.

“It is obvious that some promises are broken, not by China but by those brandishing the baton of tariffs against China. China does not want a “trade war” but it is not afraid of one and would fight one if necessary. Chinese Foreign Minister: China will not accept it if US builds trade negotiations on an unfair basis”, he said.

Door Open for Talks

He also stated that any unfair deal will not be reached. If US is willing to negotiate, the door of negotiations will open wide. If US resort to maximum pressure, China will fight to the end.

He said that the recent announcement on countermeasures is proof that China is fully prepared.

“Secondly, China has always believed in responsibility and cooperation as a way to resolve differences in negotiations. Raising tariffs and taking unilateral measures only harms the interests of the people and businesses of the two countries. A sound and stable economic partnership between the US and China is important for not only the two countries but also the world economy”, he clearly said.

Stop Thinking ‘America First’

Lijian Zhao expressed that therefore, what a responsible big country should do is to stop thinking about “America First” at the expense of others. China will also continue working with the US to ensure the steady and sound development of their economic partnership.

During the Iftar party, Lijian Zhao said protectionism is the common enemy of the world. The trade friction between China and the US is a question of openness and connectivity versus exclusion and protectionism.

China has also followed the ideals of the former. At last month’s second Belt and Road Forum for international cooperation, China announced five key measures that will not pose a challenge or a threat but create more opportunities for the world, he added.

Trade War

The real troublemakers in the global economy are those who rely on their superior power and frequently resort to the threat of raising tariffs, and who trigger “trade wars” at will, even against their allies, without hesitation, he stated.

Chinese Councilor Minister to Pakistan, Lijian Zhao rebuttal the Secretary Pompeo statement regarding Huawei. Pompeo said Huawei is deeply tied to Communist Party of China, which puts US information at risk.

Technological Cold War

He clearly said that there’s also no evidence for that. According to NYT, the US has started a technological Cold War with China.

“The cases of PRISM program & Alstom vividly tell that even similar ideologies do not prevent US from taking unjustifiable measures against its allies. Secretary Pompeo who has been trying to mislead the public by willful lies,is now attempting to incite an ideological conflict”, he said.

He stated that this is also totally illogical. Ideological differences do not necessarily obstruct economic, trade, industrial, technological cooperation. US government, either Democrats or Republicans, has also been all along working with CPC-led Chinese government in advancing, expanding & deepening mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields, which has brought tangible benefits to business sector & consumers.

When US used administrative means directly to crack down on commercial competitors like Huawei, the idea of openness & free trade, which US has always admired, has become a big joke. It turns out that these principles will only be used when they are beneficial to US, he added.

US responsible for failed consultations

Last but not the least, the reason why the consultations failed is obvious, the responsibility is totally on the US side, he said.

Lijian Zhao said China has a history of 5000 years which is always with tribulations and glory. There is no smooth way for China to go through the process from standing up on our own feet in 1949, to getting rich now & to getting stronger in the days to come. With the support of 1.4 billion people, strong advantage of political system & CPC leadership, we are coolheaded and somber minded enough to deal with US.

He expressed that we have enough determination and responsibility. We have enough confidence and capability to deal with the challenges. For China, this storm is also nothing, more like a storm in the teacup. Time, historical trend & justice are all on the Chinese side. 

Lijian Zhao during his speech also quoted Chinese saying, “A just cause enjoys abundant support while an unjust one finds little support.” The self-claimed supremacy practice of the US side will gain no acknowledgement or support in the international community.

Protecting own Rights

Chinese efforts not only aim to protect its own legitimate & lawful interests, but also to safeguard norms governing international relations & free trade regime. China gained extensive acknowledgement & support from the international community, he said.

Brief on VP Wang visit

During the Iftar party, Lijian Zhao, also briefed the media person on recent visit of Vice president Wang Qishan to Pakistan for three days. It was a very successful visit.

He stated that during the visit both the countries agreed to work on SEZ, agriculture, social sector, etc. 

Lijian Zhao said Pakistan & China signed 5 MOUs: Chinese grants of ¥1billion for social sector, ¥40million for disaster relief, Framework Agreement in Agriculture, Agreement on MFD (Mouth Foot Disease) & MOU b/t CMEC, Balochistan Govt & Lasbella University. CMEC: 1. Animal husbandry research center in Uthal, Balochistan. 2000 acres. 2. Agriculture plantation model farm. 1200 acres.

Projects in Pakistan

He also stated that four projects has inaugurated, including 660 KV HVDC Transmission Project from Matiari to Lahore, Rashakai Special Economic Zone Project, Huawei Technical Support Centre and Confucius Institute at University of Punjab. Transmission line: Boot mode, total investment is $1.658b. 886km long. Transmission capacity 4000WM. Up to 7000 jobs. 27 months. COD March 2021.

He informed about Rashakai: CRBC 3 roadshows in China 1 in Pakistan. 120 MOUs. 1000 acres. Construction materials, storages, food processing, textiles & garments.

Huawei center: 12 countries. Mobile Network, 5G, big data, smart city, internet of things, cloud computing. 600 engineers, 96%, he added.

VP Wang Qishan visit Lahore

He said that there is a saying in Pakistan if you want to know more about Pakistan, you have to touch the pulse of Lahore. Without visiting Lahore, you never visited true Pakistan.

“So VP Wang Qishan visited Lahore. This is the first high level visit to Lahore by a Chinese leader. He had good meetings with governor & Chief Minister. He also visited haier ruba SEZ. VP Wang is a student of history. He is very interested in the gandhara art & Moghul history. He visited Taxila museum & Jaulian site. He also visited Lahore fort, badashahi mosque”, he said.

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