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Beijing says US doesn’t understand China

Trump has refrained from past accusations that China was ‘raping’ the US of jobs, but is critical of its currency policies

Gulf News

BEIJING: Americans’ lack of understanding about China fuelled “old and untrue” stereotypes during the US presidential campaign, the spokeswoman for the country’s legislature said, pledging to address substantive concerns about trade.

National People’s Congress spokeswoman Fu Ying said that both sides needed to make greater efforts to boost US knowledge about its largest trading partner.

“The US has little understanding on China generally, is that right?” said Fu, a former vice-foreign minister and former ambassador the UK. “Every single candidate talked about China during the election campaign. But all I heard were either old stories or untrue China stories. This phenomenon is unnatural and abnormal, especially in a society with a free flow of information.”

While President Donald Trump has refrained from stump-speech accusations that China was “raping” the US of manufacturing jobs, he has continued to criticise the country’s currency policies, calling them the “grand champions” of currency manipulation in an interview with Reuters last month. Arguments that China was weakening the yuan to reduce the cost of its exports have lost steam as the country took steps to let the currency fluctuate more freely and started expending reserves to keep it strong.

Trump has promised to reduce the $347 billion US trade deficit with China. Peter Navarro, the head of Trump’s National Trade Council, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross last year wrote a paper in which they blamed trade gap for what they described as America’s “slow growth plunge.”

Trade between the world’s two biggest economies supports around 2.6 million American jobs, according to the US-China Business Council. While the US has a goods-trade deficit with China, its exports of services to the country are growing rapidly. Between 2006 and 2014, they climbed more than 300 per cent.