Washington's plans to contain China's economy would end in failure and the price to be paid by the US will far exceed its imagination as it provokes a massive trade war, Chinese experts warned on Tuesday.
"We hope the US can reverse its wrong decision [of adding tariffs on $300 billion in exports to the US], as we think there will be a series of consequences such as lowering the living standards of Americans, dampening the confidence of US companies and disturbing the normal international trade order," Jin Xu, chairman of the China Association of International Trade, said at a seminar in Beijing organised by the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the Ministry of Commerce.
"Adding tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese exports to the US violates the WTO non-discrimination principle. The behaviour of the US is a loss of trust and morality," Li Gang, vice chairman of the association, said.
Their comments came days after the US threatened to impose 10 per cent of tariffs on another $300 billion worth of Chinese imports starting on September 1. The surprise tariff announcement came after China and the US restarted trade talks in Shanghai last week.
China on Friday vowed necessary countermeasures to safeguard its core interests and said that the country will not accept any maximum pressure threats or blackmail, nor "make any concession" on issues of principle. On Tuesday morning, the Ministry of Commerce said that Chinese enterprises had halted new purchases of US agricultural products, another blow on the US government.
Li said that international value chains, industry chains, and supply chains are determined by world trade patterns and this process should benefit everyone, but the tariffs imposed by the US have destroyed this balance.
Li added: "Any violation of market rules and economic laws will not last long and will be abandoned by history."
"The US is obsessed with trade protectionism, and maintaining the US' global hegemony by launching a trade war shows the US is becoming weak and the plot to contain China's rise will end in failure," Sang Baichuan, dean of the Institute of International Economy under the University of International Business and Economics, told the same event.
China is no longer the US' largest trading partner because of rising tit-for-tat tariffs between the two largest economies. China became the third-largest trading partner of the US in the first half of this year, ranking behind Mexico and Canada, according to data released by the US Commerce Department on Friday.
In the same period, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' total trade with China surpassed that of the US.