字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント Promises: Easy to make. And for Chinese leaders, even easier to break. Here are 5 Trade Promises China Has Broken. Welcome back to China Uncensored. I'm Chris Chappell. We all know there's a trade war between China and the US. But we didn't start the fire. It was always burning since the World Trade Organization let China join. That was back in 2001. And it came after certain US officials had lobbied for years to let China into the WTO club. “I strongly support China's admission into the World Trade Organization. The World Trade Organization—or WTO for short— is an international group created in 1995 to help governments negotiate trade deals. The idea was to make international trade as free, and easy, and non-violent as possible. Unlike the tragic Molasses War of 1882. That was a sticky situation. Anyway, US corporations had been lobbying President Clinton to help China join the WTO, because they were confident that if only they could get access to the China market, they would make so much money! I mean, er, help bring, um, democracy to China. Yeah, that's the reason! “The more we bring China into the world, the more the world will bring freedom to China.” That worked out well...for the Chinese regime. Entering the WTO in 2001 gave China access to other countries' markets, and spurred China's super-fast economic growth. But there was supposed to be a catch to joining the WTO. China had to agree to the rules outlined in this 103-page document called “Accession of the People's Republic of China”. Also known as “The Protocol.” Well that sounds totally normal and not weird at all. Fast forward 18 years, and the world has been doing a lot of trade with China, but the Chinese regime has still not complied with quite a number of their Protocol commitments. Which is a nice way of saying, they've been cheating. So in today's episode, we'll focus on 5 trade promises that China made— and broke. Broken Promise Number 5: Ending Price Controls When China joined the WTO, they promised to end price controls. That is, to “allow prices for traded goods and services in every sector to be determined by market forces.” But guess what? In a 2018 report to congress on China's WTO compliance, the United States Trade representative said China's “government and the Party continue to control or otherwise influence the prices of key factors of production.” Yeah, they're not ending price controls. There are a number of products and services currently subject to government-set prices— including pharmaceuticals, tobacco, natural gas and telecommunications services. Which means foreign companies find it hard to compete in those industries, plus a lot of related industries. For example, price controls on fuel mean that energy is cheaper in China, which makes it cheaper to manufacture a lot of products. All these things add up to mean that goods are cheaper to make in China than in other developing countries where wages are also low. Broken Promise Number 4: Ending Subsidies The Chinese regime props up a lot of industries through grants and loans from state-owned banks. And in some cases, local governments also offer land rights at super low prices, to make it cheaper for certain industries to get started. And—like price controls— these subsidies have enabled a lot of Chinese companies to sell products at below market rates. “Pervasive involvement of the Chinese government has resulted in numerous subsidies being provided to Chinese companies leading to artificially low-priced manufactured goods,” say the authors of a study called China's Long Road to Market Economy Status. Of course, the Chinese regime has promised to remove these state subsidies. But the US Trade representative has identified “hundreds of prohibited subsidies in a wide range of manufacturing sectors.” “These subsidies contribute to the serious excess capacity problems that plague industries like steel, aluminum, solar panels and fishing and devastate global markets and foreign competitors.” Why do you think your made-in-China solar panels are so cheap? On top of that, China promised to disclose its subsidies, but has reneged on that promise too, by hiding the subsidies being provided on a local level. “China continues to shield massive sub-central government subsidies from the scrutiny of WTO members.” I get it. If you're going to give out illegal subsidies, you really should try to cover your tracks. Which leads us to... Broken Promise Number 3: Transparency The Chinese Communist Party has never been particularly good about being transparent. I mean, just Google “China cover up” and you'll see what I mean. And when it comes to trade, “China disregards many of its WTO transparency obligations, which places its trading partners at a disadvantage and often serves as a cloak for China to conceal unfair trade policies and practices from scrutiny.” For example, China promised to make available to its WTO trading partners all trade-related laws and regulations before they're implemented or enforced. They don't do that. China also promised to provide translations of all of its trade-related laws into English, French or Spanish. They don't do that, either. In fact, the Chinese government never even set up an agency or program to undertake these translations, which, again, are a basic requirement for being part of the WTO. But I get it. Lotta laws, lotsa hassle, all that translation and notification ahead of time. Maybe you just have to request them, right? Nope. “Not only does China have a poor record of adhering to its notification obligations,” says the US Trade Representative, “but it also fails to cooperate when other members make requests for information.” China's regulatory system is so opaque, in fact, that foreign companies and governments can't fully understand legal requirements in some areas of the Chinese economy. This obviously puts foreign companies at a huge disadvantage. It means they can be accused of breaking laws they didn't know existed and had almost no way of finding out about because Chinese officials basically kept them opaque. But even if foreign companies did have a full understanding of China's laws and regulations, that still might not be of much use. And that's because of... Broken Promise Number 2: A Fair and Impartial Justice System Before entering the WTO, China committed to broad legal reforms that included transparency, equal treatment under the law, and a fair judicial review process. If these reforms were implemented, they would strengthen the rule of law and make it easier for foreign companies to do business in China. But, surprise! That hasn't happened. A study done for a U.S. industry association anonymously interviewed companies doing business in China. Off the record, these companies reported time and again that officials took advantage of China's utter lack of any type of foreign investment approval process to block foreign investment. Or officials force the foreign company to take on a Chinese joint venture partner, or to extract valuable commercial secrets as a price for market entry. The extent of the problem is likely underreported, the study says, because companies are scared to speak out publicly. That's because foreign companies have received “explicit or implicit threats from Chinese government officials – typically made orally rather than in writing – about possible retaliatory actions that could have severe repercussions for a company's business prospects in China.” The US Trade representative says this kind of situation in China is “able to persist in part because of the absence of the rule of law in China, which fosters the use of vague and unwritten policies.” And finally... Broken Promise Number 1: Protecting Intellectual Property Remember the 103-page Protocol? In it, China promised to stop forcing foreign companies to hand over their valuable, sometimes sensitive technology. After a seven-month investigation into China's unfair trade practices, the US Trade Representative last year issued a long list of hair-raising accusations. They include forced technology transfer, state sponsored cyber-theft, and industrial espionage. Which makes China's failure to protect U.S. intellectual property from theft by Chinese companies seem almost insignificant. The report found that “Chinese theft of American IP currently costs between $225 billion and $600 billion annually.” And that is probably a low-ball estimate. But besides the money, there's also the security risk posed by China using the advanced technology it steals to gain a military advantage. Like those J-20 fighter jets that look just a little too familiar. So what should the US do with this basket of China's broken trade promises? Well, if you ask president Trump, it's tariffs. “China has been taken advantage of the United States for many, many years. I'm not just talking about during the Obama administration. You can go back long before that.” Not to name names here, but we've been taken advantage of long before Obama... To balance out the Chinese regime's decades of cheating, Trump put tariffs on Chinese imports. But then the Chinese regime hit back by putting their own tariffs on US goods. Then the US added more tariffs, and China added more, and then there was going to be a trade deal but it fell through, and now there's a trade war. So what's going to happen now? “You want to know something? You want to know something? We always win.” Or...the Chinese Communist Party could just honor its trade promises, and then we'd all win. But I won't hold my breath. So what do you think about all the trade promises China has broken? Leave your comments below. Once again, I'm Chris Chappell. See you next time.