Chinese officials have been mostly measured and moderate in their response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s ratcheting up of a trade war with Beijing. But, as Sonia Legg reports, the mood on the streets of Beijing and Shanghai is a little less accepting.
And for years many Chinese people have loved all things American.
But that MAY be changing
President Trump’s trade war has left some confused and others angry.
40-YEAR-OLD, ENGINEER IN THE STEEL INDUSTRY, QU XINJUN,
“Americans have been arrogant for a long time. They are using original equipment manufacturers in other countries and then they take all the economic benefits. We think that’s unreasonable.”
There was no sense of panic or crisis.
But around one in four wants to stop buying U.S. products and some say they already have.
50-YEAR-OLD, MIDDLE SCHOOL ART TEACHER, MR YIN, SPEAKING ABOUT HOW HE IS AFFECTED BY THE TRADE WAR,
“I used to be really interested in American cars. Perhaps now I’ll have to give that up.”
Only 22 percent said they were worried about the trade war
and only 38 percent favoured hard retaliation for U.S. sanctions.
34-YEAR-OLD CRUISE SHIP CATERING MANAGER, ZHU TAO,
“For me it’s great! I get paid in U.S. dollars and since the trade war started the U.S. dollar has increased in value against the RMB.”
61-YEAR-OLD RETIREE, PAN MING,
“I think the U.S. is doing this because of their election. The U.S. President is almost certainly seeking to increase his own vote. The differences between the U.S. and China on trade aren’t that huge.”
The straw poll was small and not scientific – Chinese people are often guarded and not willing to let foreign media know their real views.
Sales could start slipping even if the government’s response remains moderate.