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【新唐人北京时间2018年06月12日讯】 【世事关心】(471)中国对贸易战的真正恐惧是什么?

Besides reducing the trade deficit with China, Trump also seeks to eliminate the root cause of unfair trade. A structural change in trade and in a sense, how China runs its economy. Will China make those changes?

No, the regime will never reduce its control over its society willingly.

China’s trade team is also divided. Can Liu He, China’s vice premier, persuade Xi Jinping to make concessions?〞

〝It is just a rumor that Liu favors concessions. So far he’s shown limited compromise and hasn’t made concessions in lifting exports charges.〞

China still depends on export too much, which makes it vulnerable to trade wars. Can China transform into a consumption based economy?

萧茗(Host/ Siomone Gao):欢迎收看《世事关心》,我是萧茗。过去两个月里,美中贸易谈判经历了一些起伏和意想不到的波折。我自己还记得两国的专家们说贸易战不会发生, 因为彼此都会损失太多。但是他们说错了,川普政府已经下决心要对美中贸易关系做出实质性的改变。更重要的是,川普政府要从源头上解决不公平贸易的问题,这个源头就是中共的现行经济政策。这反映在操纵汇率、管制进口、盗窃知识产权、对国企搞不公平补贴等等诸多方面,在这些方面迫使中共进行政策改革,从长期来看会给大陆民众带来好处。尽管川普政府可能还没有意识到这一点,因为这些迫切需要的改革将惠及民营经济和普通消费者,而不是那些掌控国家的权贵,毫无疑问,改变会很艰难。中共制定经济政策从来都不是单纯的出于经济上的考虑,它还是政治问题,也关乎中共政权的稳定和生存。到目前,没有迹象显示中共愿意改变。但是中美一旦爆发全面的贸易战,会沈重打击大陆经济,进而威胁到中共政权的稳定。因此中共也许会被迫做出一些让步,这一期的《世事关心》,我们来讨论这个话题。
Welcome to 《Zooming In》, I am Simone Gao. The US-China trade talks have gone through quite a few ups, downs, and unexpected turns in the past two months. I remember hearing experts from both countries predicting how the trade war would not happen because both sides had too much to lose. It turned out, they were wrong. The Trump administration is committed to making substantial changes in US-China trade relations. More importantly, they did not shy away from the root cause of unfair trade. That root cause is all about how the Chinese Communist regime runs its business. It is reflected in currency manipulation, import quotas, intellectual property theft, unfair subsidies to its state-owned enterprises and many other areas. By pushing changes in these areas, I wonder if the Trump administration realizes that they might be doing a Chinese people a favor in the long run as well because changes in these areas are long overdue reforms that will actually benefit the private sector and average Chinese consumers instead of the rich and powerful who run the country. No doubt it will be hard. The way the Chinese Communist Regime runs its economy is never just about economics. It is also a political issue, and it is about the stability and survival of Communist rule. So far, there has been no sign that they are willing to change. But the gloomy prospect of a full-blown trade war and the impact on their regime stability might force the Party to make certain concessions. We discuss these questions in this episode of 《Zooming In》.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross went to China earlier this month for the third round of high-level trade talks.

Heckler: 〝Secretary Ross, help us make a deal!〞

罗斯先生也希望达成一项协议,但是未能如愿。在此一周前(5月29 日),白宫重申了之前发出的威胁——对价值500亿美元的中国大陆商品加征25%关税。这增添了罗斯与中共达成协议的困难。中共提出,如果川普放弃拟加征的关税,中共愿意从美国增购价值近700亿美元的农产品、制造业产品和能源产品。川普总统要求减少2000亿美元的贸易逆差。中共则提议增购价值700亿美元的美国商品,这本应是一个相当有分量的还价。它同时也惠及各农业州的川普支持者,以及出产能源产品的宾西法尼亚、西佛吉尼亚等州的选民,他们的意愿会对中期选举的结果产生很大影响。但是,这依然满足不了白宫的要求。
Mr. Ross also wanted to strike a deal, but that didn’t happen. A week before(May 29), The White House renewed earlier threats to impose 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods. That complicated Mr. Ross’ mission to secure a settlement with Beijing. China offered to purchase nearly $70 billion of U.S. farm, manufacturing and energy products only if the Trump administration abandons the renewed tariffs. President Trump requested a $200-billion-dollar trade deficit reduction. This $70-billion-dollar offer would constitute a big portion of that. It also targets President Trump’s base in the farm belt states. The energy products come from states like Pennsylvania and West Virginia which are important for the midterm elections. However, the White House is reluctant to make that concession at this point.

Larry Kudlow, the White House chief economic adviser, explained in a briefing that the trade friction between the two countries is not just about soybeans and natural gas.

Larry Kudlow(白宫首席经济顾问):〝这不是政府和政府之间的问题,这也不是仅仅为了让中共从美国采购大量的天然气和大豆。问题的关键是如何迫使中共降低关税和非关税壁垒,为美国增加对中国大陆的出口创造条件。 我们的目的是建立一个有利于我们的运作机制。我认为在这一点上我们一直都不是很明确,这是经济问题,就是要这么做,这代表着结构性的变化,重要的结构性变化。〞
〝 This is not government to government. This is not about the Chinese government buying a bunch of natural gas or soybeans from America. This is about reducing tariff rates and non tariff barriers that will permit the increase in US export sales to China. That is the actual mechanism, and I don’t think that’s been a clear point. It’s an economic point. That’s how you do it. And that represents structural change, important structural change. 〞

It represents structural change in the US-China trade mechanism. But more importantly, it requests structural changes in China’s economy. China’s trade surplus is only one result of the unfair trade between the two parties. The Trump administration seeks more than just reducing the surplus. It seeks to eliminate the cause of unfair trade. The causes are theft of intellectual property, forceful transfer of technology, tariff barriers and non tariff barriers, such as restrictions in foreign investment and other discriminative regulations, and the Chinese government’s unfair subsidies to its state-owned enterprises. None of these can be fixed by more soybeans and natural gas. If China makes changes in those areas, it would change how the Communist regime runs its economy. Strategies such as subsidizing state-owned technological enterprises are at core of Xi Jinping’s Made in China 2025 plan. These are not easy concessions for China to make.

萧茗(Host/Simone Gao):川普政府要求中国大陆经济做出结构性的改变。这些改变会影响共产政权吗?我们来听一下资深政治评论员文昭先生的看法。
The Trump administration’s requirements demand a structural change to China’s economy. How will these changes affect Communist rule? Let’s hear my discussion with senior political commentator Wen Zhao.

萧茗(Host/Simone Gao):〝美国所要求的改变,例如涉及知识产权侵犯、强迫转移技术、进口配额限制、对国有科技企业的补贴、进一步开放市场、扩大美国的出口。这些要求需要中国做哪些经济结构方面的改变?这些改变又会如何作用于它的政治体制?〞
〝 The U.S.-demanded changes involve the theft of intellectual property rights, forced technology transfer, restrictions on import quotas, and favoring domestic tech firms; China’s markets should be further opened up to U.S. products. To meet these requirements, what does China need to do in economic structure? How will these changes react upon China’s political system?〞

〝 All you have mentioned are included in structural factors. China’s huge, long-standing trade surplus is not a result of competitive advantages in particular sectors. Nor is it caused by seasonal, interim factors. Rather, it has benefited from export advantages due to China’s decades-long legal and policy practices. Large-scale export subsidies, import quotas, unfair tariffs, unwilling intellectual property transfer -- all constitute structural causes to the huge, long-term trade surplus. Other factors include state-decided foreign exchange rates, state-mastered pricing power of all market elements for land and labor. All these privileges of the Chinese Communist regime can be transformed into low-price advantages in exports. What trade talks can achieve, at most, is change particular structural factors, say, reducing tariffs, lifting import quotas. Fundamentally, they hardly work for balancing trade on both sides. The Chinese regime enjoys such advantages as long as it remains authoritarian; if it loses them, it ceases to be a centralized government.〞

萧茗(Host/Simone Gao):〝您觉得中共会做出这些改变吗?〞
〝 Will China make such changes?〞

〝 No. It may cut down import tariffs and eliminate import quotas or lift investment restrictions on particular sectors. However, it can invent new forms of barriers because it grips all power and all domestic social networks in its hands. For example, milk powder. Despite its lowered import tariffs, Chinese agents and distributors keep a very low proportion of imported milk powder because their government wants it that way to ramp up its prices. So, foreign milk powder remains a very limited share in the Chinese market. In other words, it may dismantle its tangible customs and then set new, intangible ones against you. So, theoretically, the Chinese government monopolizes the final pricing power for all goods within China. This is unimaginable for other nations. Because the Chinese regime is just such an authority, it has such microscopic control power over all of its society, as deep as one’s capillaries. Any results achieved from the negotiation table are volatile. No long-term guarantee. And the regime will never reduce its control over its society willingly. 〞

Coming up, China’s leaders are divided on the trade war. Who will win? And will China fight to the end?

萧茗(Host/Simone Gao): 战争中通常是更强大的一方获胜。损失成本更少的一方通常不怕打仗。我们来听听白宫贸易政策主任-Peter Navarro在6月3日接受福克斯电视台采访时的说法。
Whoever is more powerful is more likely to win in a fight. It’s also usually true that the person with less to lose will be more willing to fight. Let’s hear what White House director of trade policy, Peter Navarro, had to say in a Sunday Morning Futures interview from June 3rd.

玛丽亚(福克斯电视台):〝 我读一篇文章,里面讲:‘ 中国大陆声称,如果美国加征这些关税,中共就将收回迄今在贸易方面做出的承诺。’难道我们为了推动对中国大陆加征关税及限制,就不惜损害美中关系吗?〞
Maria(Fox News):〝 I want to ask you about China, because here’s the headline of the morning. I’m reading an article right now, and it says,‘China says all trade progress is off if the U.S. imposes these tariffs.’Are we willing to throw away the relationship that we have with China to push tariffs and restrictions on the country?〞

Peter Navarro: 〝Well, let’s look at the relationship we have with China. We have a $371 billion trade deficit in goods, which basically ships off 200 million manufacturing jobs off to China every year. That’s not so good. We had General Mattis talk about the activity in the South China Sea with respect to China building up all their artificial islands, and, of course, the big issue that we’re fighting, the president’s fighting with Ambassador Lighthizer, is this theft of our crown jewels of technology. They take our technology, Maria. Everybody knows they steal it, but they also force the transfer of it, they evade our export controls. And they’re coming over here -- Chinese state-owned enterprises -- coming over here with bags full of money, and buying up places like Silicon Valley. So that’s a relationship with China that structurally needs to change. We’d love to have a peaceful and friendly relationship with China, but we also are standing firm……〞

萧茗(Host/Simone Gao):纳瓦罗先生在美中贸易争端上立场最强硬。但他只代表美国贸易谈判团队中一部分成员的意见。但是美国媒体并没有去研究中方团队是否也存在内部分歧。如果中方团队意见也不统一,这对贸易谈判会有什么影响?
Mr. Navarro represents the most hawkish view regarding the trade war with China. That’s one side of the divided US trade team. But media in the US isn’t paying attention to the possibility of an equally divided Chinese team. If they are also divided, how will that affect the trade talks?

Liu He is China’s vice premier and a politburo member. He is also an economist who holds an MBA from Harvard University. He serves as Xi’s chief economic adviser and leads the Chinese team in US-China trade negotiations.

According to an 《Apple Daily 》article by Lu Yue, Liu is in favor of making concessions to America. He believes a trade war will be disastrous to China and cannot be won. He gives three reasons:

1.In Ability
First, it is China who violated international trade rules and is responsible for intellectual property theft. It lost the moral ground from the very beginning.

2.On Ability
Secondly, China isn’t able to engage in a full-blown trade war with the U.S because it imports a relatively small amount of U.S. goods. China can only retaliate against the amount of U.S. goods exported to China. However, America is one of China’s biggest export markets. And the US could punish China to a larger degree.

3.On Strength
Thirdly, all imported Chinese products to the US can be substituted. Some of them were produced by the US originally. But a large proportion of the goods imported from the US are essential to China’s economic lifeline.

鼓吹与美国打贸易战的大陆人存在认识上的误区。 一般认为:只接受过共产党教育的人往往认为中共当局是不可战胜的。
Proponents of the trade war are not clear. A general understanding is that Party members whose only education and training come from the Communist Party itself tend to believe the Chinese Communist regime is invincible.

萧茗(Host/Simone Gao):刘鹤能说服习近平吗?听听文昭怎么说。
Can Liu He persuade Chinese President Xi Jinping? This is what Wen Zhao has to say.

萧茗(Host/Simone Gao):〝刘鹤是习近平信赖的人,他主和。但是,美国的要求直接冲击习近平的‘2025计画’,你觉得习近平他是什么想法呢?〞
〝 As Xi Jinping’s staunch trust, Liu He favors concessions to America. But the U.S. demands are a direct attack to Xi’s ‘Made in China 2025’. What is in Xi’s mind in your opinion?〞

〝 It is just a rumor that Liu favors concessions. So far, he’s shown limited compromise and hasn’t made concessions in lifting exports subsidies. Further, in that setting of the Chinese regime, it is impossible for Liu, as head of the Chinese trade team, to suggest fully accepting American terms, or he would be in the crossfire of his political rivals and would be in danger himself. I predict that the pro-concessions side won’t get the upper hand until considerable loss has been made after a trade war breaks out and lasts some time. Xi, of course, won’t make concessions regarding‘Made in China 202’.That’s a crucial part of his life’s goal. He envisions a material increase in China’s military and technological firepower around 2030 and mainland China being the world’s No. 1 power around 2050. In his blueprint, his‘Made in China 2025’ is of vital significance. Therefore, Xi would never bow on‘Made in China 2025’unless he is hit by substantial setbacks and his strategic objectives have to be readjusted.〞

萧茗(Host/Simone Gao):〝战或者和,对中国民众有什么影响呢?〞
〝 To believe in trade war or not, what effects will they have on the Chinese people?〞

〝 Once a trade war erupts, China’s Consumer Price Index will be driven up because the U.S. farm products will be retaliated. For example, increased soybean prices will lead to increased edible oil prices or to a roiled market by low-quality edible oil; and increased fodder prices will push up meat prices, too. If the trade war plays into a broader scale, affecting goods worth $150 billion, almost all American exports to China will be covered, including products which China has difficulty getting from other suppliers. Then China’s economy will be materially harmed. Also, if China’s goods worth $150 billion are barred from the American market, Chinese businesses will have to consider price drops and transfer them to other countries, whose own markets will be disrupted, causing a chain reaction. In a word, a tariff war on goods worth $50 billion will be less harmful to either side. But that on goods worth $150 billion will substantially harm China, which is more dependent on exports and whose lost trade volume is hard to regain from elsewhere. If that situation can be averted, China will tune down its tariffs on imports, which will certainly benefit its consumers. However, lower tariffs don’t necessarily mean lower final, retail prices. Their actual effects need a wait-and-see.〞

Coming up, can China transform into a consumption based economy?

萧茗(Host/Simone Gao):中国大陆在贸易战中显得更脆弱,一个原因是因为太过依赖于出口。中国大陆能改变这一点,转型成为消费导向的经济体吗?我们来看看大陆的国内消费有什么问题。
One of the main reasons China is more vulnerable in a trade war is because China still depends too much on exports. Can China change this and transform into a consumption-driven economy? Let’s see what is wrong with China’s domestic consumption.

According to World Bank data from 2017, private consumption made up close to 70% of the U.S. GDP. In comparison, China’s private consumption was only 39% of the Chinese GDP. That leaves China near the bottom globally. Although it has improved 4% since 2010, it’s not enough to lift weight for the export-dependent economy.

As China’s wealth grows, Chinese consumers should have more to spend. But China is still far away from reaching the U.S.’ 70% private consumption. According to a report published by Southwestern School of Economics, housing accounts for 68% of a Chinese family’s wealth. In Beijing and Shanghai, it is as high as 85%. It suggests that much of China’s wealth increase is tied up in fixed properties.

萧茗(Host/Simone Gao):中国能转型成为消费导向型经济吗?来听听文昭怎么说
Can China morph into a consumption-oriented economy? Let’s hear from Wen Zhao again.

萧茗(Host/Simone Gao):〝一个简单的问题,中国的内需能够提振吗?〞
〝Here’s a simple question: Can China shake up its domestic demand?〞

〝 To put it simply, yes. These years have seen a continuing rise of domestic consumption ratio in China’s GDP, but not high enough to meet its economic growth goals. Causes inherent in China’s system bar its domestic purchasing power from rising. For example, Chinese lack well-developed social security; they have to put aside higher savings against risks of unemployment and illness. Also unfairly distributed educational resources force Chinese urban residents into investing considerably for their children’s education, which curbs their consumption. Further, once China’s risks -- real estate bubbles and local government debts -- turn into reality as a crisis, the Chinese people will suffer immeasurable wealth loss. So, there’s a long way ahead for China to form a domestic consumer market vigorous enough to back its fast-growing economy. Conclusively, what the Chinese regime can count on is still government-led investments and foreign trade. 〞

萧茗(Host/Simone Gao):美中贸易战是我们这个时代的重要事件。终于有人站出来在经济领域反击中共的扩张主义了,归正世界经济秩序不但会让美国受益, 也会惠及全世界, 包括中国人民。就像白宫贸易政策主任Peter Navarro所说,在川普时代,美国不会再接受不公平贸易,我希望这是真的。Navarro还说,世界各国迫切需要通过合作来维护共同利益,包括维护民主和对抗专制的自由。现在我们已经很少听到这类言论了, 所以我认为这是一个积极的进展。感谢收看这期的《世事关心》,我是萧茗。下期节目再见。
The US-China trade war is an important event in our times. It means someone is finally addressing the elephant in the room before it is too late. Reinstalling order in the world economic system will not only benefit America but also the rest of the world, including the Chinese people in the long run. In the Trump era, as White House trade policy director Peter Navarro puts it, the days of accepting unfair trade practices are over. I hope that is true. He also said there will continue to be a strong need to cooperate on issues of mutual interest, including defending democracy and freedom against authoritarianism. We don’t hear these words very often anymore, so I take it as a positive change. Thanks for watching 《Zooming In》, I am Simone Gao. See you next week.

Producer:Simone Gao
Writer:Simone Gao, Jess Beatty, Michelle Wan
Editors:Julian Kuo, Melodie Von,
Cameraman: David Zhang, Mark Cao
Narrator: Rich Crankshaw
Interview Overdub: Kacey Cox
Cameraman:Wei Wu
Transcription: Jess Beatty
Translation:Frank Yue, Michelle Wan, Greg Yang, Xiaofeng Zhang
Special Effects:Harrison Sun
Assistant producer:Bin Tang, Sherry Chang, Merry Jiang

Host accessories are sponsored by Yun Boutique

New Tang Dynasty Television
《Zooming In》
june, 2018



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