July 11, 2019

Could trade war be China’s golden opportunity?

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Don’t play the trade war victim’ former Japanese PM advises China

Instead, seize the opportunity to transform economy and society

A FORMER Japanese prime minister has urged China to draw on his own country’s experience and use the trade war as an opportunity to transform its economy and society.

Yasuo Fukuda, who served as Japan’s leader from 2007 to 2008, said there were clear similarities between China’s current problems and US-Japan economic tensions which began in the 1950s and continued for decades.

“I believe China should not regard itself as a victim in its trade relations with the US. On the contrary, China should take this difficult time as a national chance to solve problems and find new engines to a continuous economic growth,” he said.

Lessons from an old trade war: China can learn from the Japan experience

At the opening session of a two-day Sino-US trade relations forum in Hong Kong, Fukuda spent more than half of his keynote speech recalling Japan’s past, painful experiences in negotiating with the US and said the talks had turned out to be a “golden chance” for change.

“Japan does have considerable understanding of today’s relations between the US and China, simply because we had similar trade frictions with the US for decades to what China has today,” Fukuda said.

“I can state with confidence that the bilateral talks with the US provided a golden chance to transform Japanese society. Of course, it’s a very tough decision-making process,” he said, adding that Beijing should objectively assess these experiences since Japan had by no means been perfect in the past.


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