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【新唐人北京時間2018年06月12日訊】 【世事關心】(471)中國對貿易戰的真正恐懼是什麼?

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?

蕭茗(Host/ Siomone Gao):歡迎收看《世事關心》,我是蕭茗。過去兩個月裡,美中貿易談判經歷了一些起伏和意想不到的波折。我自己還記得兩國的專家們說貿易戰不會發生, 因為彼此都會損失太多。但是他們說錯了,川普政府已經下決心要對美中貿易關係做出實質性的改變。更重要的是,川普政府要從源頭上解決不公平貿易的問題,這個源頭就是中共的現行經濟政策。這反映在操縱匯率、管制進口、盜竊知識產權、對國企搞不公平補貼等等諸多方面,在這些方面迫使中共進行政策改革,從長期來看會給大陸民眾帶來好處。儘管川普政府可能還沒有意識到這一點,因為這些迫切需要的改革將惠及民營經濟和普通消費者,而不是那些掌控國家的權貴,毫無疑問,改變會很艱難。中共制定經濟政策從來都不是單純的出於經濟上的考慮,它還是政治問題,也關乎中共政權的穩定和生存。到目前,沒有跡象顯示中共願意改變。但是中美一旦爆發全面的貿易戰,會沈重打擊大陸經濟,進而威脅到中共政權的穩定。因此中共也許會被迫做出一些讓步,這一期的《世事關心》,我們來討論這個話題。
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!」

羅斯先生也希望達成一項協議,但是未能如願。在此一周前(5月29 日),白宮重申了之前發出的威脅——對價值500億美元的中國大陸商品加徵25%關稅。這增添了羅斯與中共達成協議的困難。中共提出,如果川普放棄擬加征的關稅,中共願意從美國增購價值近700億美元的農產品、製造業產品和能源產品。川普總統要求減少2000億美元的貿易逆差。中共則提議增購價值700億美元的美國商品,這本應是一個相當有分量的還價。它同時也惠及各農業州的川普支持者,以及出產能源產品的賓西法尼亞、西佛吉尼亞等州的選民,他們的意願會對中期選舉的結果產生很大影響。但是,這依然滿足不了白宮的要求。
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(白宮首席經濟顧問):「這不是政府和政府之間的問題,這也不是僅僅為了讓中共從美國採購大量的天然氣和大豆。問題的關鍵是如何迫使中共降低關稅和非關稅壁壘,為美國增加對中國大陸的出口創造條件。 我們的目的是建立一個有利於我們的運作機制。我認為在這一點上我們一直都不是很明確,這是經濟問題,就是要這麼做,這代表著結構性的變化,重要的結構性變化。」
「 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.

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):川普政府要求中國大陸經濟做出結構性的改變。這些改變會影響共產政權嗎?我們來聽一下資深政治評論員文昭先生的看法。
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.

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):「美國所要求的改變,例如涉及知識產權侵犯、強迫轉移技術、進口配額限制、對國有科技企業的補貼、進一步開放市場、擴大美國的出口。這些要求需要中國做哪些經濟結構方面的改變?這些改變又會如何作用於它的政治體制?」
「 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.」

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):「您覺得中共會做出這些改變嗎?」
「 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?

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao): 戰爭中通常是更強大的一方獲勝。損失成本更少的一方通常不怕打仗。我們來聽聽白宮貿易政策主任-Peter Navarro在6月3日接受福克斯電視臺採訪時的說法。
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.

瑪麗亞(福克斯電視臺):「 我讀一篇文章,裡面講:『 中國大陸聲稱,如果美國加征這些關稅,中共就將收回迄今在貿易方面做出的承諾。』難道我們為了推動對中國大陸加徵關稅及限制,就不惜損害美中關係嗎?」
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……」

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):納瓦羅先生在美中貿易爭端上立場最強硬。但他只代表美國貿易談判團隊中一部分成員的意見。但是美國媒體並沒有去研究中方團隊是否也存在內部分歧。如果中方團隊意見也不統一,這對貿易談判會有什麼影響?
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.

鼓吹與美國打貿易戰的大陸人存在認識上的誤區。 一般認為:只接受過共產黨教育的人往往認為中共當局是不可戰勝的。
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.

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):劉鶴能說服習近平嗎?聽聽文昭怎麼說。
Can Liu He persuade Chinese President Xi Jinping? This is what Wen Zhao has to say.

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):「劉鶴是習近平信賴的人,他主和。但是,美國的要求直接衝擊習近平的『2025計畫』,你覺得習近平他是什麼想法呢?」
「 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.」

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):「戰或者和,對中國民眾有什麼影響呢?」
「 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?

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):中國大陸在貿易戰中顯得更脆弱,一個原因是因為太過依賴於出口。中國大陸能改變這一點,轉型成為消費導向的經濟體嗎?我們來看看大陸的國內消費有什麼問題。
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.

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):中國能轉型成為消費導向型經濟嗎?來聽聽文昭怎麼說
Can China morph into a consumption-oriented economy? Let’s hear from Wen Zhao again.

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):「一個簡單的問題,中國的內需能夠提振嗎?」
「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. 」

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):美中貿易戰是我們這個時代的重要事件。終於有人站出來在經濟領域反擊中共的擴張主義了,歸正世界經濟秩序不但會讓美國受益, 也會惠及全世界, 包括中國人民。就像白宮貿易政策主任Peter Navarro所說,在川普時代,美國不會再接受不公平貿易,我希望這是真的。Navarro還說,世界各國迫切需要通過合作來維護共同利益,包括維護民主和對抗專制的自由。現在我們已經很少聽到這類言論了, 所以我認為這是一個積極的進展。感謝收看這期的《世事關心》,我是蕭茗。下期節目再見。
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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