US Envoy Says ‘Anti-Coercion Coalition’ Needed to Tackle China’s Economic Coercion

US Envoy Says ‘Anti-Coercion Coalition’ Needed to Tackle China’s Economic Coercion
Rahm Emanuel, former Mayor of Chicago and former chief of staff in the Obama White House, testifies during a confirmation hearing before Senate Foreign Relations Committee at Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill Oct. 20, 2021. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Aldgra Fredly

The world’s leading economies should set up an “anti-coercion coalition” to combat Beijing’s persistent use of economic coercion to achieve its political goals, the U.S. ambassador of Japan said on March 27.

U.S. envoy to Japan Rahm Emanuel said that collective action is needed to address instances where a country utilizes economic measures to penalize another country due to its political stance, Japan Times reported.
Economic coercion is political warfare by other means,” Emanuel said at an event at the University of Tokyo.

“It is the use of economic tools, whether that’s embargoes, tariffs, and other types of tools, to politically target a country that you disagree with and try to coerce them into changing their political stance and their political independence,” he added.

Emanuel said that Beijing is a “persistent purveyor” of such tools, and only through coordinated response by countries can such actions be checked.

“If the world does not organize against economic coercion, Beijing will continue to prey on other countries and their economies, large or small, developed or developing, near or far,” he said.

“The world today must develop a comprehensive collective response to combat economic coercion equal to the collective comprehensive actions that China has taken,” the U.S. envoy added.

In an article posted on the U.S. Embassy website, Emanuel listed examples of the Chinese regime’s economic coercion against other nations, including Japan, which saw Chinese exports of rare earth metals blocked in 2010 after an incident near the disputed Senkaku Islands.

In 2012, Beijing quarantined Philippine fruit exports over a territorial dispute in the South China Sea.

South Korea suffered business boycotts from Chinese consumers and tourists when it installed a U.S. missile defense system in 2016.

When Australia called for an international inquiry into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) restricted Australian exports of coal, barley, beef, copper, wheat, and a range of other products.

“We need a policy response to engage and win this battle,” he said. “Collective groupings, like the G7 or existing trade agreements, help countries resist China and survive the economic consequences.”

The CCP also targeted multinational corporations that heavily rely on manufacturing in China and the Chinese market.

Emanuel said that Beijing’s economic tools include restrictions in trade, investment, and tourism, as well as boycotts, state threats, and intellectual property theft.

“Additional aggressive tactics include detention and cyberattacks,” he added.

China Took Advantage of WTO

Experts said that China has not lived up to its commitments to fair trade in the past two decades and has little will to do so, despite the world looking to its transition toward free-market capitalism.

“China has never really observed the rules of the World Trade Organization [WTO]. It has taken advantage of the World Trade Organization,” Clyde Prestowitz, president and founder of the Economic Strategy Institute, told the Chinese language edition of The Epoch Times in 2021. Prestowitz is also the author of “The World Turned Upside Down: America, China, and the Struggle for Global Leadership.”

“If you just look at what China has been doing in its trade with Australia, it’s actually, sadly, halting Australian imports,” he said. “Of course, China is making some excuses.”

U.S. chargé d’affaires David Bisbee said that Beijing’s industrial policies “skew the playing field” against imported goods and services, besides other accusations, including preferential treatment for state enterprises, data restrictions, inadequate enforcement of intellectual property rights, cyber theft, and forced labor.

“Today, those challenges remain before us,” he said.

previous study also shows communist China’s unfair trade practices since joining the WTO in 2001 have harmed industrial innovation in developed nations, causing companies, particularly in North America and Europe, to lose their competitive advantage in advanced industries.

“Convincing friendly governments to encourage their companies to leave China … while cutting China’s exports, it would also send a solid message to China—that China will either have to change—or go it alone,” China economic analyst Antonio Graceffo told the Chinese language edition of The Epoch Times.

Rita Li contributed to this report.