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Claiming US wealth helped rebuild China is simply ridiculous

By Zhong Sheng | China Daily | Updated: 2019-05-18 09:51

For many, China's rapid development is an "economic miracle". Yet some in the United States claim that it is the US that has "rebuilt" China in the past 25 years. Suffice it to say such a conclusion is ridiculous.

Those people also argue that China's "currency manipulation" has helped it to build a huge trade surplus with the US, and claim the US' trade deficit is equivalent to the "wealth given by the US to China", and "China's success is largely driven by US investments in China". Such claims are not only a distortion of facts, but also an exercise in absurdity.

The "US rebuilding of China" theory, apart from exposing the arrogance, ignorance and skewed mind-set of such people, also reflects their deep-rooted "messianic mentality". No wonder the theory has won few supporters in the US, and has invited derision across the world.

The US' trade deficit with China is the result of the comparative advantages of the two countries and the international division of labor, a fact established by US economists long ago. China's foreign trade has always followed market rules and is conducted in a fair manner, so it is illogical to say China's trade surplus is the result of the "US rebuilding China". Since the US has a trade deficit in goods with 102 countries, does it mean it has rebuilt these countries too?

Sino-US trade is not a one-way channel through which the US transmits its wealth to China. The US has a trade deficit with China because it imports huge volumes of inexpensive but good-quality Chinese goods. According to studies conducted by Deutsche Bank and other third parties, the US has gained more net commercial benefits from bilateral trade than China. Sino-US economic cooperation is mutually beneficial. Had it not been so, the US which is known to always put its interest first would not have chosen to do business with China.

No one denies the constructive role of US investments in China's economic development, but it is ludicrous to assume US investments were the only factors that propelled China's growth and made it the world's second-largest economy. Since 1978, China has utilized just over $2 trillion of foreign investment, of which US investment adds up to only $80 billion, accounting for only 4.06 percent of the total foreign investment used.

How can a meager $80 billion US investment rebuild China?

Using the same logic, can we say that China has helped rebuild the US because the latter has reaped annual gains of billions of dollars from its investment in and service trade with China?

The "rebuilding of China" supposition is a contorted description of Sino-US trade ties. Trade with all countries, including the US, is only part of China's market-based economic reform. And it is market-based reform that is the real decisive factor behind China's rapid economic development.

A big country like China cannot be developed on the "charity" of other countries. No country in the world has the capability to rebuild China. China's development, in the final analysis, is the outcome of the Chinese people's endeavors under the leadership of the Communist Party of China to promote reform and opening-up and build a modern, strong and prosperous country.

China is further opening up its economy to the outside world and carrying out win-win cooperation with other countries. It has also increased its outbound foreign investment, creating more opportunities for other countries, including the US.

History tells us there have been many self-proclaimed saviors of the world. But they have all been exposed. The need today, therefore, is to respect the facts, stop making groundless accusations against China, view China's development from the correct perspective and work to facilitate the development of Sino-US trade relations.

The article first appeared in People's Daily. The views do not necessarily represent those of China Daily.

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