China should try to keep talking and stop looking for fights in US trade war, says leading professor

Author:Jun Mai Date:2019-07-12 Source:South China Morning Post

Author: Jun Mai 

South China Morning Post 

Published: 2:00am, 10 Jul, 2019

Updated: 2:27am, 10 Jul, 2019

Diplomacy 

China should try to keep talking and stop looking for fights in US trade war, says leading professor

Peking University’s dean of international relations Wang Jisi warns that country should be ‘more proactive’ about promoting its cause and goals

Wang Jisi said he disagreed with the emphasis on China’s willingness to fight rather than talk. Photo: Baidu

China should be more proactive in pursuing trade talks with Washington instead of emphasising its willingness to keep on fighting the tariff war, a leading academic warned on Tuesday.

Wang Jisi, dean of international relations at Peking University, told a forum he disagreed with China’s official narrative towards the trade war – that it is open to talks but remains determined to “fight till the end” – and argued its policies should be more consistent.

“The statement looks valid at the first glance, but it says nothing about China's preferences, whether it wants to fight or talk,” Wang argued.

“I of course, think our preference should be talking, not fighting,” Wang told the World Peace Forum at Tsinghua University.

“I think we should be more proactive in presenting China's cause and goals to the United States.”

Beijing’s official line has been repeatedly amplified by state media since talks with Washington broke down in May and includes frequent messages about the country’s ability to withstand the pain the trade war could cause – a topic that had previously been given minimal coverage.

But Wang, one of the most prominent US specialists in China, said he did not agree with this position.

He also said that in general policies towards the US should be “stable and consistent” rather than shifting “every time there’s a change of policies in Washington”.

Editor: LI Fangqi

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