Advertise with

Lin Songtian, China's representative in SA, says only the US can end the trade war as China needs that country's market to grow its economy.
Lin Songtian, China's representative in SA, says only the US can end the trade war as China needs that country's market to grow its economy.

US jealousy sparked trade wars, says Chinese ambassador


By Chris Makhaye - May 21st, 10:48

The US is jealous of China’s rapid economic growth and achievements in the past few years and was using the trade wars to frustrate and stall it, Lin Songtian, the Chinese ambassador to SA said. 

The US occupies the first spot in the world economy and is followed in close second by China. But the two economic behemoths have been exchanging trade wars since the election of President Donald Trump. Recently he imposed huge tariffs on Chinese goods entering the US and the Chinese have responded in kind.

“The Americans are accusing us of stealing their technology, stealing their innovation. We didn’t do anything like that. We invested by taking our people to learn from the US and other Western countries. We learned from the best and then we bettered the best. That is what China is doing,” Lin told a gathering at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

He said the trade wars will only end when the US, as the only superpower, decides to end them. “China would wait because we also need the American market to grow our economy,” he said.

Turning his attention on trade and investments between SA and China, Lin said SA had potential to become one of the world’s best-developed countries but social and political instability, the government inefficiency, poor infrastructure, poor policies, and crime are preventing it from achieving its potential.

He said SA’s “slow and inefficient” railway system was preventing R10bn-worth of China’s investments in Limpopo’s mining and other projects.

“If you can fix the railway line, China is ready to invest in Limpopo. And goods and other materials can move from Limpopo to the Richards Bay harbour. We have the capacity to help SA to achieve this if it allows us,” he said.

SA has been China’s largest trading partner in Africa for 10 years, accounting for a quarter to a third of China-Africa overall trade.

In 2017 bilateral trade between the two countries grew 11.7% to $39.17bn, a more than 20-fold increase from the figure at the beginning of diplomatic relations more than 20 years ago.

Lin said China was willing and capable of helping SA to deal decisively with its triple challenges of poverty, inequality, and joblessness. But SA needed to rise to the challenge by creating a conducive environment for investment, trade and other forms of mutual co-operation and benefits.

“China is keen on investing in SA because this country is endowed with many resources, including minerals, agricultural production, oceans resources, human capital, and location, as it is embraced by two oceans. These things make us envy you,” he said.

“It is not [the] government that creates jobs. Jobs are created by [good] government policies. Jobs are the key to solving the issues of poverty and these jobs can only come from investors and their investments,” he said.

He said SA had invested in the project such as the Industrial Development Zone but has failed to attract investments. “In places like Coega you have invested in a nest, but where are the birds [investors]?”

He said investors want to be assured that they will make returns on their investments and tourists and investors want to feel safe when they visit the country.

“We have the capacity to help secure SA. We have the experience. If a foreigner comes to China to do good they are welcome. But if they come to the country to do bad, we have 1.4- billion eyes and we will catch them,” he said.

Lin said he has confidence in the “new dawn” brought about by the recent election of President Cyril Ramaphosa who, he said possesses all the “right qualities” to lead the country’s economic boom, as he has been a successful businessman and a good negotiator.

“Ramaphosa has capable leadership qualities and has a strong commitment to lead the fight against poverty and for common prosperity. China needs a rich SA, a rich African continent to do business. SA and China have a win-win co-operation for common development,” he said.

He invited South Africans to tap into the Chinese market and also take advantage of the resources that the country has been able to amass, as it now has more than 40% of the world’s foreign reserves.Business Live 

Read more about: us | trade wars | economy | china | business | american market

Related News

Data management in a digital world
15/10/2019 - 14:02
Data management plans (DMPs) are evolving as the technology that enables organisations to better analyse their data become more powerful and innovative. But what impact does this have on operations and the efficiency of managing the complexities of data in a changing regulatory environment?

How to attract and retain the best employees
14/10/2019 - 11:15
Finding the right employee can be a time-consuming process – especially when you’re looking to hire the best candidate for the job. But there are simple steps one can take to find employees who are best suited for your culture and the future success of your business.

Securing your brand is a C-suite challenge
11/10/2019 - 14:37
Brand value is a key component of a company’s success and it takes several years to establish by implementing a brand strategy that supports the business. However, in today’s digital environment, brand value can be compromised in a matter of minutes and negatively affect the brand and company. As such, brand security is an issue that needs constant attention to minimise possible reputational damage to the brand and the associated risk of losing customers.

Understanding workforce management in security
10/10/2019 - 15:08
In an increasingly connected business environment, decision-makers need to more effectively leverage the human resources they have at their disposal. According to dormakaba South Africa, this is where a good workforce management system that can manage personnel as a strategic asset becomes imperative.

Temporary employment services offer a dynamic staffing solution to help the retail sector cater for the seasonal peak
10/10/2019 - 14:56
As we head into the final stretch of the year it is time to start gearing up for the added demands of the summer season. From factories and warehouses to retail outlets, the entire retail chain is under added pressure during this seasonal time of high demand. Temporary employment services (TES) can help all areas of the retail sector to cater to this peak with additional and flexi staff exactly when and where they are needed, with the right skills for the job, and none of the administrative headache of hiring permanent or contract staff.