低碳阴谋。Low Carbon Plot
中国与欧美的生死之战。 The Life and Death War Between China and the West.
作者：勾红洋。Author, Gou Hongyang
If you are the author of this book, I would like to thank you for giving my friends and I the opportunity to open our eyes. The parts that I have translated have already received an extremely warm welcome!
Low Carbon Plot, Translation 2
If you are yet to read part 1, you can find it here
Carbon Tax: if it were a stone thrown at the calm surface of the lake of the world, it would create huge waves in Developing Countries, and with the Chinese Government in particular.
Although it has in its heart been preparing for the worst, the Chinese Government has strongly opposed protectionism. This time, however, things have happened so fast, that China was caught off guard.
But the problem is absolutely not as simple as this.
By 2009 China had already begun to experience the pain of falling foreign trade, if the ‘Carbon Tax’ is implemented, it will add a layer of frost to the snow laden state of China’s exports.
In recent years, electrical products, building materials, the chemical industry, steel, and related high carbon industries have accounted for nearly half of China’s export market. If a carbon tax is implemented, as America’s biggest trading partner, the inevitable negative impact on China’s exports would be serious. It is no surprise then that some people say that the Carbon Tax has been specifically tailored by America to hit China.
According to China’s customs statistics, in 2008 Chinese exports to America were valued at $252.3 billion, 17.7% of the total exports of $1428.55 billion.
2008 Chinese electrical goods exports to the USA stood at $152.86 billion U.S. dollars, this is 60.6% of total value of exports to that market, and accounts for 31.5% of the total Chinese electrical goods export trade. It is exactly these ‘High Carbon Products’ that will be targeted by the ‘Carbon Tax’.
According to investigations by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce for Electrical Equipment, at present the profit earned by the Chinese electrical equipment export industry usually stands around 3% and 5%. If the ‘Carbon Tax’ is implemented, it is possible that this profit will completely disappear. At year end, when the accounts have been settled we may discover, that yet again we have been providing voluntary labour for the USA for the year.
That America can at this time talk about ‘Carbon Tax’ is undoubtedly adding salt to the China’s wounds. Do you think that China should be angry on not? This trade protectionism, is passing America’s losses off on to the heads of the Chinese people.
Since 2000, Chinese exports have expanded rapidly. From about $20 billion per month, rapidly growing to about $120 billion by the end of 2008; a sixfold increase in under a decade.
Chinese GDP has sustained a growth rate of about 10% for the past ten years, the growth of the export market have contributed hugely to this rapid economic growth.
Exports not only drive China’s Employment market. Millions of migrant workers have moved to the cities, providing China with an adequate workforce, but also have form a huge consumer market. Exports have not only provided China with valuable tax receipts, but owing to the healthy injection they have provided have also strongly propelled economic growth.
The fall in exports, has resulted in many foreign trade focused companies located on the east coast of China experience difficulties and a significant number have closed their doors. From the news, the internet and other information channels we learn that many migrant workers have returned to their villages. We can imagine the amount of pressure the Central Government is under. How to find new work for those who have lost their jobs?
Many of them had already left home for decades. In the third quarter of 2009 GDP growth was still at 9%, but had fallen to 6.8% by the fourth quarter. This is a very dangerous signal to an economic entity. At year end 2008, scores of economists were already starting to make warning predictions regarding the Chinese economy.
Looking at the overall state of China-USA trade, the imposition of the ‘Carbon Tax’, no matter if it is placed on imports or on exports will engender very negative consequences. Although there are still several years before implementation, yet the Americans have already published the scheme, which has been sufficient to add nervous tensions to the Chinese economy.
Within a week of the U.S. Congress passing the American Clean Energy and Security Act, on 3 July 2009 a statement from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said, that in the current environment a ‘Carbon Tax’ would only disturb international trade procedures, which China resolutely opposes.
As America’s largest trading partner, China is evidently the object of its ‘affection’. Because of this, at the time, comments pointed out: “Steve Chu has planted a ticking bomb under US-China trade.”
On the appointment of Steve Chu, many Chinese looked at him with hope, for looking at him was as if looking at someone from Singapore, a familiar [yellow] face, naturally arouses feelings of closeness. But when Steve Chu, as representative for the American Government, gives off murderous looks, many Chinese people will probably wake up realizing that having long wings does not necessarily mean one is an angel, and having yellow skin does not mean in the slightest that he will represent China’s interests.
Something that is a little strange, is that, when engaged on a trip to China, he never repeated in any public place the words he uttered in Congress, never did the words ‘Carbon Tax’ pass his lips. How could he forget such an important thing?
China has not advanced any response. Can China stuff shut Steve Chu’s mouth?
An intense confrontation between China and America proceeded, and at this moment, the U.S. Secretary for Energy Steve Chu visited, as if the American Government had something that they wanted to say to the Chinese Government.
On the 15 July 2009, the American Secretary for Energy conducted a lecture at Qinghua University. This was the first time since being appointed Secretary for Energy by Obama that he had visited China.
In this Lecture, the Nobel Prize for Physics winning Steve Chu, made use of many charts and used specialist vocabulary in talking to the attendees, which included many of China’s Science and Technology officials, and introduced the energy and climate change challenges facing the entire world.
He spoke in a determined manner, and the listeners were interested, everybody also understood the subtext of Steve Chu’s words.
Before this incident, Chinese and American trade struggle was already fairly intense.
On 26 June 2009, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced the decision to start a combined anti dumping and anti subsidies investigation in to Chinese wire mesh cable tray products. Between 17 June and 19 June 2009 Chinese bundled cables and steel grating products were placed on file pending investigation, and within 10 days initiated another combined anti dumping and anti subsidies investigation against Chinese steel products.
Other areas Americans also keep a close eye on are subsidies in the textile industry and “home appliances in the countryside” subsidy policies.
The Minister for the Chinese Chamber of Commerce Chen Deming gave a reply in a prominent article. He pointed out that an economic stimulus plan had already been adopted, and China abided by all related WTO stipulations, and treated equally both internal and also foreign products, and had also provided a great many business opportunities to foreign enterprises. Many foreign brands also benefited from the “home appliances in the countryside” activity.
Of course, China still has more response measures. Apart from organizations’ large scale European procurement group, there are also positive plans for trade and co-operation with the Association of South-east Asian Nations. Apart from this, the economic functions of the Shanghai Co-operation Organization are also becoming increasingly prominent.
The importance of trade between China and America is [beyond compare]. If a trade war were to erupt between the two, then its influence and effects would be globalized.
According to the targets for carbon emissions, there is no way to keep the present advantageous pricing for the American market for many of China’s products, there will inevitably be a time of a contracting export market. At the same time, if America implements the ‘Carbon Tax’, every single country within the European Union is likely to quickly follow suit, causing Chinese foreign export market to become a wasteland. Owing to these probabilities, a few of China’s Foreign Trade Officials have already directly stated, that to implement this kind of tax would be like ‘a natural disaster’.
Formerly American trade restrictions towards China revolved around anti-subsidies and anti-dumping, article 201 etc. Now, America has asked for reinforcements, the lethal power of which is truly shocking, the seriously damaging part is that it is all hidden behind a beautiful excuse.
These years, who dare say anything critical of the environment, otherwise, it is very easy to become everybodies common enemy. If China does not face reality, it will be very easy to make China it to the “evil country” and others will take the charges against China as truth.
Towards ‘Carbon Tax’ China once had someone who made the excuse: “It is not that China does not wish to reduce emissions, China is always working hard towards this, but at the present moment China cannot surrender it’s development.” Actually the history of America’s greenhouse gas emissions stretches back 200 years, and now it suddenly wants to enact ‘Carbon Tax’ legislation. In reality, the USA only wants to limit China’s development.
China and America circling each other over the ‘Carbon Tax’ is a kind “anachronism”. Because, China’s GDP is still only around 3000 dollars per person. Industrialization is not complete and still on the level of a mid ranking Developing Country and moderating Carbon Dioxide emissions is unavoidable. But America is already a developed “Economic Giant”, how can one possibly use the standards of a Developed Country against a Developing Country?
The Chinese Chamber of Commerce Spokesperson Tao Jian has also expressed, that the implementation of the “Carbon Tax’ policy is harmful to the interests of Developing Countries. In actuality, Developing Countries have already made enormous efforts to shoulder the burden of environmental protection. If the policy ‘Carbon Tax’ is implemented, it may give rise to a chain of trade retaliation. This is not in the interests of overcoming the effects of the current financial crisis, and revitalizing the present economy.
This is the sound of China’s counter attack, but in the eyes of others, these methods are not considered terribly clean, so it is not possible to convince everybody. At present China has already replaced America as the biggest emitter of Carbon Dioxide in the world, this is a incontestable fact. For the great cause of the Earth, who can talk about issues just for their own personal profit? The peoples of every country in the entire world will not agree.
In the last 30 years and especially in the last 20 years, China’s economic reforms have been advanced triumphantly, China has already become another pillar of the world economy; though the bulk of the world economy belongs to America, China should also take on relevant international responsibilities. It can not just when it wants more power [on the international stage] adopt the label of being a powerful country, but when it come to accepting international responsibilities take on the label of a Developing Country, and point to GDP per head.
We can forecast that, the contest between China and America and the other Developed Countries will be one where the knives will cut through the flesh exposing the bones, the inevitable advent of a protracted war.
Part 3 of this translation can be found here