A Chinese state newspaper on Friday accused a trade advisor picked by President-elect Donald Trump of “anti-China alarmism” and warned both sides would suffer if commerce is disrupted.
The China Daily editorial was more forceful and openly critical of economist Peter Navarro than China’s foreign ministry, which appealed Thursday for cooperation.
Navarro, picked by Trump to run a new National Trade Council at the White House, has accused China of effectively waging economic war against the United States. The UC Irvine professor also will be director of trade and industrial policy.
“There is real cause for concern as the president-elect has named economist Peter Navarro, known for his anti-China alarmism, as his trade adviser,” said the China Daily, which is aimed at foreign readers.
A statement by Trump’s transition team said the creation of the trade council “demonstrates the president-elect’s determination to make American manufacturing great again.”
“That individuals such as Navarro who have a bias against China are being picked to work in leading positions in the next administration is no laughing matter,” said China Daily. “Any move to damage the win-win relationship will only result in a loss for both sides.”
Trump has blamed China for the decline in American factory employment. U.S. manufacturers have cut 5 million jobs since 2000.
Trump has threatened to raise import duties on Chinese imports to 45% and to label Beijing a “currency manipulator,” a status that can lead to trade penalties.
Asked by reporters Thursday about Navarro’s appointment, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Beijing has been observing the incoming U.S. administration’s transition and its policy direction.
“As two major powers with broad mutual interests, cooperation is the only correct choice,” Hua said without naming Trump or Navarro.