Unfair for US to suddenly turn against China

I agree with Associate Editor Vikram Khana that it is difficult to predict what will happen if there is a ceasefire in the US-China trade war (China says, America says; Nov 28).

The Trump administration may have turned antagonistic against China to throttle its economic progress but it cannot dislodge the Chinese socialist economic system, which is the right of any country.

Fair trade can only take place on a willing-buyer and willing-seller basis, irrespective of whether the other party is a private enterprise or state-owned corporation.

Business transactions rely on demand, acceptable commercial terms and mutually agreed prices. Otherwise no trade is possible.

When multi-billion dollars worth of trade has been transacted by two countries for decades under two different systems, it is ridiculous for the US to suddenly quarrel with China about reciprocity.

American companies have willingly accepted the Chinese socialist system to establish manufacturing plants since the early 1990s, doing profitable business.

It is unreasonable for the US to start blaming China when it has begun losing its leading edge in technology.

State funding programmes are key to research, innovations and technological advances.

Without the National Institutes of Health spending almost a trillion dollars on research, the US pharmaceutical industry would not have attained its global leadership position.

The US should respect China's economic model and cooperate to help its economy evolve to the next frontier of greater innovation.

Paul Chan Poh Hoi

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 06, 2018, with the headline 'Unfair for US to suddenly turn against China'. Print Edition | Subscribe