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Spotlight: 'America First' shows U.S.' "only I shall develop and you shall not" mindset: ambassador

BRUSSELS, June 13 (Xinhua) -- "I don't think it is a secret to anyone now why the trade frictions have flared up and how things have come to what they are today. The root cause is that the U.S. administration, chanting the slogan of'America First,' goes for unilateralism, protectionism and economic hegemonism," Ambassador Zhang Ming, head of the Chinese Mission to the EU, has said.

"The U.S. side makes a lot of groundless accusations of China, resorts to economic blackmail with tariff increases and attempts to impose its demands on China with maximum pressure. The U.S. is also going to great lengths under the guise of national security to bring down Chinese companies and disrupt normal scientific and technological cooperation and market competition," Zhang said Wednesday in a speech during a luncheon hosted by the EU-China Business Association.

"This shows nothing but a hegemonic mindset that 'Only I shall develop and you shall not,'" said the ambassador.

In an escalation of the trade tensions, Washington on May 10 imposed additional tariffs on 200 billion U.S. dollars' worth of Chinese imports up from 10 percent to 25 percent, and has threatened to raise tariffs on further Chinese imports. In response, China imposed additional tariffs on a range of U.S. imports at the beginning of this month.

"In the common interest of China and the U.S., and for the sake of proper order in world trade, China is committed to the basic principle of resolving disputes through dialog and consultation. China has responded to American concerns with utmost sincerity and patience," said Zhang.

"China has tried to build consensus with the U.S. while reserving and properly addressing the differences. China has overcome all sorts of difficulties, engaged in many rounds of dialogue and negotiations with the U.S. and put forward pragmatic proposals," he told the audience.

"In short, China has made painstaking efforts to stabilize its business ties with the U.S. But the U.S., in return, has gone back on its words over and over again and kept creating new problems. This has eventually led to spiraling trade tensions between the two countries," he noted, warning that "China is not the only victim."

"The stick of tariffs has been wielded at many, including the EU. While the steel and aluminum issue is pending, the auto tariff is like a sword hanging over Europeans' heads," he said.

"With the doctrine of 'America First,' it seems that any country and any sector could become an easy target at any time. Our world could not be more uncertain," he noted, reminding his audience that the U.S.' abuse of tariff threats and long-arm jurisdiction is a source of great uncertainties for multinationals.

"Business is business. To put a political or security label on business issues would disrupt global industrial and supply chains. Just think of it. There might be one day when your products are subject to an additional 25 percent tariff, or your company is charged with breaking export control rules on shaky grounds, or even your employees are arbitrarily arrested while they are traveling overseas. For any company, it would be simply a nightmare," he said.

A Monmouth University survey released on May 30 showed that 62 percent of the American people believed that U.S. consumers are paying the additional tariffs the U.S. administration imposed on Chinese imports, countering President Donald Trump's claim that Beijing is bearing the brunt.

Only 23 percent believed that Chinese producers were the main victims, said the poll.

[ Editor: Zhang Zhou ]