Trump’s trade ‘extortion’ won’t work, says China state media

SHANGHAI/BEIJING: Chinese state media on Monday lambasted US President Donald Trump’s trade policies in an unusually personal attack, and sought to reassure investors anxious about China’s economy as growth concerns battered its financial markets.
China’s strictly controlled news outlets have frequently rebuked the United States and the Trump administration as the trade conflict has escalated, but they have largely refrained from specifically targeting Trump.
The latest criticism from the overseas edition of the ruling Communist Party’s People’s Daily newspaper singled out Trump, saying he was starring in his own “street fighter-style deceitful drama of extortion and intimidation”.
Trump’s desire for others to play along with his drama is “wishful thinking”, a commentary on the paper’s front page said, arguing that the United States had escalated trade friction with China and turned international trade into a “zero-sum game”.
“Governing a country is not like doing business,” the paper said, adding that Trump’s actions imperilled the national credibility of the United States.
The heated dispute between the world’s two biggest economies has roiled financial markets including stocks, currencies and the global trade of commodities from soybeans to coal in recent months.
China’s stocks stumbled on Monday as Beijing’s and Washington’s fresh tariff threats and an unusually personal attack by state media on the US president showed the trade war between the two major powers intensifying.
The Shanghai Composite index and the blue-chip CSI300 index both closed 1.3 per cent lower on Monday, having erased earlier gains.
The yuan also weakened despite central bank efforts to shore up the tumbling currency following its longest weekly losing streak on record.
After strengthening earlier on Monday, the yuan turned weaker, trading hands at 6.8438 per US dollar at 0725 GMT, 150 pips weaker than the previous late session close of 6.8288.
Last month, the International Monetary Fund warned that escalating trade conflicts following US tariff actions on its trading partners threaten to derail the global economic recovery.
The United States and China implemented tariffs on $34 billion worth of each other’s goods in July. Washington is expected to soon implement tariffs on an additional $16 billion of Chinese goods, which China has already said it will match immediately. — Reuters