Amid an ongoing trade war with the US, China on Wednesday sought India’s support in fighting trade protectionism and building a just and reasonable international order, alleging both the emerging economies were facing unilateralism and bullying tactics.
‘’As the two largest developing countries and major emerging markets, China and India are both in the vital stage of deepening reform and developing the economy, and both need stable external environment. Practicing unilateral trade protectionism in the name of national security and fair trade will not only affect China’s economic development, but also undermine the external environment of India and hinder India’s booming economy,’’ Chinese Embassy spokesperson Ji Rong told the Indian media in response in questions on the deteriorating China-US relations.
Observing that China and India shared common interests in defending the multilateral trading system and free trade, the spokesperson said President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken with one voice to safeguard the multilateral trading system and free trade at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
This year the two sides jointly participated in publishing the ‘Qingdao Declaration’ and the 10th BRICS Summit Johannesburg Declaration, sending a clear message against protectionism.
Rejecting America’s charge that Beijing was interfering in its internal affairs, the Chinese mission said the US should reflect on its own practice of interfering in the internal affairs of developing countries such as China and India under the pretext of human rights and religious matters.
The Chinese spokesperson also refuted Washington’s accusation that Beijing had militarised the South China Sea, dubbing the charge as distorting of facts.
“The US should stop making troubles and creating tensions, and respect the efforts of relevant parties to resolve problems through negotiation and consultation,” she added.
In an obvious reference to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Ji said the allegation that China has put some developing countries into “debt trap” was nothing but an attempt to sow discord.
“China’s economic cooperation with other developing countries is committed to win-win cooperation and common development. China is open to all initiatives that will help regional development and cooperation,” she added.
Ji asserted that China was firmly against the US attempts to use the ‘so-called’ Indo-Pacific strategy as a tool to counter China.
Beijing has been upset ever since Washington started calling the Asia-Pacific region as the Indo-Pacific region. She said China is looking forward to the US taking concrete steps to become a trusted partner of the developing countries.