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Spotlight: Renowned American scholar urges U.S. to stop scapegoating China

NEW YORK, May 27 (Xinhua) -- China's remarkable development during the past decades has been done in a fair, reasonable way, and the United States should stop making China a "scapegoat" for its own problems of inequality, said a world-renowned U.S. expert.

"China has been playing by Western rules for the past 40 years, gradually catching up the way that America's Asian allies did in the past," Jeffrey David Sachs, a senior UN advisor and director of the Center for Sustainable Development at the New York-based Columbia University, wrote in an article published on CNN's website over the weekend.

But now the United States is trying to stop China's development by "changing the rules of international trade abruptly and unilaterally," which could "prove to be disastrous for both the United States and the entire world," noted the economics professor.

Titled "China is not the source of our economic problems -- corporate greed is," the article summarizes China's contemporary and modern history dating back to the 19th century, which Sachs said was dominated by "geopolitical setbacks and related economic failures."

What China has done is merely trying to make up for its "lost time," wrote Sachs, adding that "it is not doing anything particularly unusual for a country that is playing catch up."

More importantly, the sustainable-development expert elaborated, to blame China for the loss of domestic jobs in the United States simply ignored the huge benefits brought by bilateral trade.

"To accuse China of unfairness in this is wrong -- plenty of American companies have reaped the benefits of manufacturing in China or exporting goods there," noted Sachs, adding that U.S. consumers enjoy higher living standards as a result of China's low-cost and increasingly high-quality products.

"A trade war with China won't solve our economic problems," he continued. Instead, the United States should let its own people "share the benefits of economic growth" in a way that "the winners who benefit compensate the losers."

It was not the first time that Sachs expressed such views. At a seminar jointly held by the China General Chamber of Commerce USA and the Standard Chartered Bank earlier this month in New York, Sachs, as a guest speaker, lauded China's "catching up" in the past 40 years as the "fastest economic development in the history of the world," which is based on "good economics" and something that the world should be happy about.

Accusing China of having "cheated its way" to rapid growth is "simply false" and a completely uneducated understanding of China's development, the expert noted at the seminar. "China is effectively catching up, and it's doing it in a smart way, and it's doing it in a normal way and it's doing it in a peaceful rule-based way."

The rhetoric of labeling China as an "enemy" of the United States got heated up recently, partly through some columns on several domestic publications by some writers who "probably have never been to China," he continued in the speech.

Such a view is dangerous and should be resisted to prevent the general public from getting misled, he stressed, adding that the U.S.-China bilateral ties cannot afford serious miscalculation as the two largest economies have a "decisive influence" on the future of the world.

"This is a very important time for China-U.S. relations, and we had better get this right," Sachs said.

[ Editor: Zhang Zhou ]