Beijing warns of ‘people’s war’ against U.S.: Chinese consumers now global superpower
As China plots its response to a White House determined to extract blood on trade, Beijing’s leadership knows it cannot match U.S. military or economic might.
But Chinese decision makers also know they now oversee the the world’s dominant marketplace. China’s retail sales are the highest on earth, worth US$7.5-trillion last year, 14-per-cent higher than those in the U.S.
China is No. 1 in cars, smartphones and any number of other items people buy for themselves. Chinese consumers, in other words, have already collectively become the world’s buying superpower.
And when Beijing wants to retaliate, it has a record of using those buyers, nudged by nationalism and propaganda, to exact a painful toll on rivals. China has done so in recent years to the Philippines, Japan and South Korea, with Chinese consumers participating in boycotts of foreign-made cars, cosmetics and tourist destinations that have inflicted financial suffering on those Beijing wants to punish.
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If U.S. officials wanted to provoke a sharp response from China, they got one.
Comments on the internet here burst out Friday with insults and invective, calling U.S. President Donald Trump a "shortsighted bully." They threatened war, and not just the kind over trade, echoing the kind of language being used on the other side of the Pacific.
Trump is proposing tariffs of up to $60 billion on Chinese goods as punishment for what U.S. officials call Beijing's "economic aggression."
"Trump acts like he is a hoodlum when he loses money to China," posted a Chinese internet user named Wind. "Luckily China has a strong military now."
There was plenty of official reaction, too. The trade blast from Washington — and accusations that China is stealing U.S. industrial secrets and abusing American firms — brought blowback from the Chinese ambassador to the U.S.
Americans "should not believe that they have a monopoly over innovation and everybody else is just stealing from them," said Cui Tiankai. "I think this is a kind of discrimination."
Is Beijing spoiling for a trade war? - World - CBC News
What will China do?