A Chinese newspaper suggested on Wednesday that the country should not bow to Washington in trade negotiations, comparing the ongoing trade conflict to Korean war talks held between the countries nearly 70 years ago.
State media in China has been referencing the 1950-1953 Korean War to help rally patriotic sentiment behind the government during the ongoing trade war according to Reuters. China and North Korea collectively battled United Nations forces, led by the United States, during the war.
Now, in front page commentary published in The Study Times, a media outlet published by the Central Party School which trains rising Chinese officials, said that China should look to its “spirit and determination” during the Korean War talks as a model for how the country should posture during the trade war. The Korean War talks ultimately took two years to end.
The commentary made no direct mention of the current trade war, but the intention of the article was clear: China repeatedly blasted the United States for trying to bully it over trade.
The commentary read: “The Chinese People’s Volunteers, in the face of the world’s top military and economic power and diplomatic blackmail, made full use of the Communist Party’s spirit of not being afraid of pressure, daring to fight and being good at fighting. To this day, it remains worthy of appreciation and promotion.”
The paper said that China and North Korea went into the talks with the United States over the Korean War with sincerity and compromise, but that the countries could not make concessions in the face of US “hegemony” and would not accept terms signed under duress. In 1953, an armistice was signed that was largely based upon China and North Korea’s original proposals from 1951, according to the paper.
China has said that it’s open to more trade talks with the United States, but there have been no high-level face-to-face meetings since last month. And while Trump says he’s expecting to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit at the end of this month in Japan, China has declined to confirm this.