Chinese state media on Monday lambasted US President Donald Trump’s trade policies in an unusually personal attack, seeking to reassure investors who are worried about China’s economy with growth concerns shaking its financial markets.
State-controlled Chinese news outlets have frequently criticized the United States and the Trump administration even as the trade friction between the two countries escalated. However, they have largely refrained from criticizing Trump directly.
The latest issue from the international edition of the ruling Communist Party’s People’s Daily newspaper called out Trump, stating that he was starring in his very own “street fighter-style deceitful drama of extortion and intimidation.”
A commentary on the front page stated that Trump’s eagerness for others to play along with his drama is “wishful thinking,” pointing out that the United States had worsened the trade spat with China into a “zero-sum game.”
“Governing a country is not like doing business,” the paper stated, adding the Trump’s action compromised the national credibility of the United States.
The escalated friction between the world’s two largest economies has burdened financial markets including stocks, currencies, and the global trade of commodities from coal to soybeans during the past few months.
The two countries slapped tariffs on $34 billion worth of each other’s goods in July. Washington is anticipated to soon implement tariffs on an additional $16 billion of Chinese goods. China has since stated that it will match such tariffs in kind promptly.
Last Friday, China’s Finance Ministry introduced new sets of additional tariffs on 5,207 goods imported from the US worth $60 billion.
That move was a response to the Trump administration’s proposal of a 25-percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.
The trade war, increasing corporate bankruptcies, and the huge decline in the value of the yuan against the dollar have prompted worries that China’s economy could face a more sluggish pace in growth.
In response, the Chinese government has released more liquidity into the banking system, encouraging lending and promising more “active” fiscal policy.
US companies, meanwhile, are setting up measures in an attempt to offset the effects of the trade spat, including price hikes. A number of companies have also said they will move some sourcing and manufacturing outside of China.
The paper’s lashes came after Trump’s comments on Twitter from Saturday in which he said that his strategy of slapping steep tariffs on Chinese imports was “working far better than anyone ever anticipated.” He also added that Beijing was now talking to the US about trade.
Trump also cited losses in China’s stock market as he predicted that the US market could “go up dramatically” the moment trade deals were renegotiated.
China’s stocks were lower on Monday as Beijing’s latest tariff warnings escalated the tit-for-tat US-China trade war. On the other hand, Chinese central bank’s efforts to bolster the tumbling yuan helped to stabilize the currency.
However, a flurry of articles from the Chinese state media stressed the resilience of China’s economy, essentially downplaying concerns regarding the impact of the US-China trade war.
“Market participants foresee a relatively stable Chinese currency in the near term, without fear of impacts from the US-China trade dispute. They expect solid economic growth momentum amid policy fine-tuning,” said an article in the official English-language China Daily newspaper, citing Chinese economists.