Feature: California officials slam Trump's misguided trade policy toward China

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-26 20:44:48|Editor: xuxin
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SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- California officials on Sunday blasted U.S. President Donald Trump's misguided economic and trade policy toward China that has proved costly for U.S. consumers and farmers.

"The economic policies that our administration today is implementing are not productive and outrageous," said former U.S. Congressman Michael Honda at a banquet hosted by the Committee to Promote the Reunification of China San Francisco Chapter on Sunday evening.

"Many who suffered costly are farmers in the Midwest, and many people throughout the world globally are not experiencing good times in terms of economic viability," Honda said while addressing the event, which was held to mark the 40th anniversary of U.S.-China diplomatic relations and was attended by nearly 600 people.

He said he represented Silicon Valley in the U.S. Congress for 16 years and knows that Silicon Valley technology companies, as represented by the CEOs, wanted a stronger presence in China.

Honda commended China for its "wonderful growth in the economy and raising the quality of life for millions and millions of people," a historic achievement.

"It proves that the economic development and partnership that we have between our country and China is the thing that will deter any military necessity," said the former Congressman.

California State Senator Scott Wiener told the audience that Sunday's event reflected the critical importance of the United States' relations with China "in terms of our culture and economic prosperity."

"This is a relationship between the United States and China that for 40 years has been growing to the benefit of both countries," he said.

It's natural that countries may have disagreements, or even tensions and other issues, "but you don't address those issues by having a trade war," warned Wiener.

He accused Trump of asking American companies to leave China, saying it's "an abuse of power" and "also an invitation to economic disaster."

"Whatever is happening now, the Chinese community is so critically important in San Francisco and California, and whatever the differences are between our countries, I know that we can resolve them in a peaceful way, in a way that results in prosperity for both our countries and the entire world," Wiener said.

California Assemblyman Phil Ting praised the U.S.-China relations as the most important relationship for the next 50 to 100 years.

"It is so important not just because it has domestic implications for Chinese Americans, but also because it has international implications," he said.

Chinese Americans are in a very special situation where they are Americans closely related to China, he said.

"I think it's important for us to keep working to build that relationship, to make sure that it's very peaceful and it continues to be very cooperative," Ting added.

He expressed concern about the rising tensions between the United States and China. "The trade war is not helpful at all, and especially it has a very negative impact on California, in particular, we have a very large agricultural community," he said.

California farmers export a lot to Asia and especially China, including wine, nuts, meat and soybeans, Ting said. "There is a huge impact of the tariffs on our economy. This is a very big problem."

He said products imported from China have witnessed rising prises as a result of the tariff disputes.

Ting's narrative resonated with retired San Francisco judge Lillian Kwok Sing, who told her latest story about how the trade frictions have impacted her daily life.

"I went shopping and I've got a package of green bean noodles. It used to be 90 (U.S.) cents, but today it cost me a dollar forty. And that's because of the trade tariffs," she said.

"Today, the U.S.-China relationship is at a very troubled time, and every day we fear something else is happening," she said.

Jeff Brown, a cousin of former California Governor Jerry Brown, who has served as San Francisco's public defender for 22 years, said the tariffs have a very bad impact on California. "California won't be able to sell its wines (to China). They won't be able to sell other products that it produces. It's a very serious matter."

"We can't have a president that raises tariffs 300 percent because he's in a tantrum. That's not the way normal negotiations go on between countries," he said.

Chinese Consul General Wang Donghua said China and the United States are important partners instead of adversaries or enemies.

"Our two countries are highly intertwined. How can we hurt the other without hurting ourselves?" he said.

"Only cooperation can make both countries grow stronger. China needs the United States, and the United States needs China for greater development," Wang said.

He urged the Chinese community and other Chinese American groups such as the event's organizer to stay committed to working for the lasting friendship between Chinese and American people and for more fruitful bilateral cooperation.