Washington began a new trade war with China, raising trade duties on Chinese goods to 25%. In fact, it is a time bomb for all world trade. But how hurt Russia, experts of the “Free press” disagreed.
America presses China
Global financial markets reacted harshly to the introduction of new duties on Chinese goods on May 10. The duty rate increased from 10% to 25% on most categories of imported products with a total value of more than $ 200 billion.
And this is not the first episode of the “trade war” unleashed by Donald Trump with his largest foreign economic partner: last June, 25 percent duties were imposed on high-tech products. China responded to this with mirror measures.
In September, Trump announced the introduction of 10% duties on a large range of goods, after which official Beijing began negotiations with Washington on easing. All this time, trump in his “Twitter” continued to scold China for all mortal sins — from industrial espionage to information theft in American universities.
But, apparently, the greatest anger of the American President was caused by the military support of Latin American countries from China, which seeks to strengthen its influence in the region — promising to invest $ 250 billion for the sake of us confrontation. In recent months, China has made deals for the supply of aircraft, weapons, and military equipment to Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador…us Secretary of state Mike Pompeo has Publicly responded, accusing China and Russia of supporting authoritarian Latin American leaders whose policies do not suit Washington. Americans are escalating tensions on all fronts.
On may 6, two us warships sailed dangerously close to the disputed Islands in the South China Sea claimed by China: Washington has officially challenged China’s Maritime claims for the third time since the beginning of the year. And at the international conference on 5g security in Prague, us representatives accused the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei of espionage (its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, we recall, remains in custody in Canada, where she was arrested at the request of the United States).
Will the cold war be “hotter” than the real one?
For the announcement of new sanctions, Trump has chosen a very bad time — in China is now widely celebrated the centenary of the student uprising in Beijing. Beijing demonstrators were inspired by the example of the October revolution in Russia: they demanded that the government throw off the imperialist shackles. In fact, this was the impetus for China to begin development on its own, special way (one of the participants of the youth protests was 26-year-old Mao Zedong). The path he’s been on for a hundred years.
Undoubtedly, any attempts by the American establishment to force the Chinese authorities to turn away from this path (for example, Trump demands that Beijing abandon state support for high-tech industries) are doomed to failure. This means that the trade war will deepen. In fact, it is less and less like a trade war — in fact, it is a new cold war: the clash of two geopolitical models, two cultures.
About how this will affect Russia, whose economy is immeasurably smaller than not only us (12 times) but also the Chinese (8 times), “Free press” asked our permanent experts.
Leading researcher of the Institute of the Far East of the RAS, expert of the Valdai club Vasily Kashin:
— At the moment, according to prevailing estimates, the trade war will have a limited negative impact on the Chinese and American economies. Therefore, it seems that there should not be a sharp drop in oil prices. As for Russia, the aggravation of the war is generally beneficial to us, since the US is our competitor in the supply of many types of raw materials to China, including grain, soybeans, liquefied natural gas (LNG), a number of forest products, etc. And the displacement of the US from the Chinese market in these sectors brings us tangible benefits. Senior researcher at the Institute of economic policy, member of the Board of the Liberal mission Foundation Sergey Zhavoronkov:
— Russia will not benefit from the trade war between the US and China (we do not produce, for example, cheap light industry goods, like China, and we will not replace them), but also lose.
Exports to China account for about 12% of Russia’s total exports. Almost completely it is oil, oil products, gas, wood, coal. Even if we assume that China’s economic growth will decrease and, accordingly, the effective demand due to us sanctions measures, first, they will not be reduced to zero, and secondly, Russia is the most competitive offer for this entire group of goods, except coal (for China, coal from Indonesia is cheaper) and will reduce primarily not Russian supplies.
The basis of Russia’s balance of payments is the export of oil (to a lesser extent gas) to Europe. It does with relations between the US and China is not connected. Namely, the balance of payments for goods determines our dollar exchange rate in the first place, and only in the second political and economic considerations such as the outflow of capital and the General “toxicity” of Russia.