WINDHOEK - Chinese ambassador to Namibia Zhang Yiming says no country in the world “can afford to pursue development with its doors closed” because the global economy is interdependent, and that countries have so much to gain through openness as opposed to trade warring.
Zhang was referring to US president Donald Trump who has shaken the foundations of global trade by imposing steep tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of goods from the EU, Canada, Mexico and more specifically China on whose goods the US has imposed tariffs of hundreds of billions of dollars.
“Gain by cooperation and lose by confrontation,” stressed Zhang on Trump’s protectionist trade policy that has not gone unnoticed because all the countries targeted by the Trump administration are also responding in kind by imposing tit-for-tat tariffs on goods that they import from the US.
“Building an open economy through win-win cooperation is the only correct choice,” he postulated.
In November this year, China will hold the second China International Import/Expo while Chinese president Xi Jinping “has made powerful voices that China will unswervingly deepen reforms and open up on the international front,” stated the Chinese ambassador to Namibia.
The Chinese ambassador insisted that China does not want a trade war with the US but he also cautioned that the People’s Republic of China “will never succumb to any hegemonic pressure from outside,” and that his country “opposes any forms of unilateralism and bullying” by the US.
Zhang noted that at the Annual Conference of the Boao Forum for Asia he (Xi) said China’s door of opening up will only open even wider, at the first China International Import/Expo. He (Xi) announced a series of major initiatives aimed at opening wider to the world at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and he sent a strong signal that “China will pursue with resolve continued reform, continued reform across the board and continue to pursue its fundamental policy of opening up.”
At the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation that ended last month, Xi announced a series of major reform and opening up measures, said Zhang, who also stressed, “building an open economy through win-win cooperation is the only correct choice.”
Developing countries, he said, could emulate China’ s development which provides a successful example and demonstrates a bright future for developing countries to achieve modernisation.
On Africa/China trade, Zhang feels the African continent is full of hope and that it is a “hot spot for development and is one of the fastest developing regions in the world”.
“As a saying in Africa goes, ‘A river runs deeps, thanks to its source,’ which confirms that China-Africa friendly exchanges have a long history. Africa lion is accelerating and China-Africa relations are entering the fast lane of all-round development.”
In 2018, China’s investment in Africa exceeded US$110 billion while the trade volume between China and the continent reached US$204 billion, up by 20.1 percent year-on-year and in particular China’s imports from Africa increased significantly reaching US$99.3 billion.
“In stark contrast to some countries’ unilateralism and self-interested behaviour, China welcomes Africa to take the express train of China’s development and share its benefits,” he said.