16:24 GMT26 January 2021
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    US media reported that President Donald Trump's trade threats against China can boost Beijing's global influence. The report says China was receiving a massive boost for its global economic clout. Moreover, China's Belt and Road Initiative could end up increasing investors' enthusiasm for the project and decreasing Beijing's dependence on the US.

    Radio Sputnik discussed the potential for boosting China's economic clout with Alice De Jonge, a senior lecturer in the department of Business, Law and Taxation at Monash University.

    Sputnik: In what way do US protectionist policies prop up China's economic clout?

    Alice De Jonge: I don't think anyone can win from the trade war. For example, there are many businesses and business operations that are located within the US that are owned buy Chinese interests and the profit from those businesses goes to China, so any damage to those businesses will also be inflicted upon China.

    READ MORE: Europe, Australia Will Be Collateral Damage in US-China Trade War – Economist

    Sputnik: How likely is the scenario of other nations' gradual tilt towards China in view of the US political line on trade?

    Alice De Jonge: That again depends on which nations you're talking about. Some nations will not wish to tilt towards China as you refer to it, other nations are already under a lot of Chinese economic and other influence and so they have already tilted.

    Sputnik: What're your thoughts about the Chinese Belt and Road initiative and its ambitions? Could it benefit Beijing amid the trade standoff with this initiative being speeded up? What other additional incentives or elements could affect this particular program now?

    Alice De Jonge: It's a very large and ambitious program that's constantly being adjusted to keep improving it. For example, the Chinese government has put in place measures to try and stop the building of the so called white elephant infrastructure projects and is trying to make sure that there are more value-adding type projects that do provide social and economic benefits. So I don't think China will do anything particularly in regard to that initiative in direct response to America's trade protectionism. It will simply keep heading along the Belt and Road, a very large and ambitious program.

    Sputnik: What are your thoughts about China's growing influence reshaping the international economy and trade? Obviously it's been a tiger economy now for the last 20-odd years, so it's not really a surprise. But are they going to be able to utilize this particular situation to really push forward with their mission and vision to be the number one global economy, I think Xi Jinping mentioned the year 2030? Are you in agreement with him? What're your thoughts?

    Alice De Jonge: I don't think that alone will have any particular influence. China is a rising power just as America was a rising power after WW2; at the end of the WW2 America controlled one seventh of the world's economic resources; it recently has controlled just over half of the world's economic resources. So their kind of growth over that shorter period of time is something; we've already seen one great power rise to, America, and the likelihood is that China will achieve similar growth.

    READ MORE: China to Uphold WTO Principles, Resist Trade Protectionism — Commerce Minister

    Sputnik: Just explain to us your thoughts. Obviously you're strategically positioned in Australia, is Australia going to benefit from this particular situation, do you think? What is the current situation with relations between China and Australia? Because they have been expanding quite nicely in the last few years, haven't they?

    Alice De Jonge: Yes, there are tensions that Australia has made quite clear that it doesn't wish to allow so-called Chinese interference by the cyber mechanisms and other direct and indirect influences in Australia, in Australian politics or economic life. Australia has not joined the Belt and Road program unlike New Zealand and so Australia has approached its relationship with China cautiously but at the same time the Australian economy is very strongly bound into the Chinese economy that such strong economic ties are not going to disappear any time soon.

    Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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