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Jack Ma: US-Chinese Trade War is "Most Stupid Thing in This World"
With both Donald Trump and Xi Jinping digging their heels in on the ongoing trade war between China and the United States, there seems no end in sight to the divisions between the two economic superpowers.
And now billionaire Alibaba Group co-founder Jack Ma – who has never been shy about voicing his displeasure over the trade war – is digging in his heels as well, ramping up his criticism of the impasse between the two countries. China’s richest person said at a business forum on Monday that “it was pointless to target goods because the Asian nation was on its way to becoming a major buyer of foreign products,” as Bloomberg reports.
Ma, whose online commerce empire is China’s largest corporation, has been a vocal opponent of tit-for-tat tariffs imposed on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of U.S.-Chinese goods. Donald Trump is now exerting pressure on the Asian nation to wind back its $423 billion trade surplus with the world. While the American President has floated the possibility of a deal when he meets his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in coming weeks, the two countries remain far apart on everything from market access to government support for state-run enterprises.
“Trade war is the most stupid thing in this world,” Ma said at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai. Xi, who addressed attendees in the morning, is touting the forum as a major showcase of the country’s purchasing power.
The outgoing chairman of the $420-billion e-commerce behemoth has warned that the trade war could continue for two decades. Ma announced in September that he had nixed a pledge to create 1 million new jobs in the US, citing the trade war’s impact.
“The current situation has already destroyed the original premise and there’s no way we could meet it,” Ma said at the time. “Trade is not a weapon. It can’t be used for war. It should be used as a tool to promote peace.”
The Wall Street Journal has noted that Ma’s been ” increasingly critical” about the Trump administration’s contentious approach to trade with China. This criticism includes an op-ed by Ma published by the Journal in April, in which he called it “ironic that the U.S. administration is waging a trade war at a time when the largest potential consumer market in the world is open for business.”
Photo: Alibaba Group