In 1985, Japan surpassed the United States to become the world's largest creditor country, and products made in Japan flooded the world. The crazy expansion of Japanese capital made the American industry exclaim that "Japan will take over the United States peacefully!"
Many U.S. manufacturing companies and congressmen began to lose their breath and frequently lobbied the U.S. government, strongly urging the Reagan administration to intervene in the foreign exchange market and devalue the U.S. dollar to save the depressed U.S. manufacturing industry. Many economists even joined the ranks of lobbying the government to change its support for the strong dollar.
In September, 1985, US Treasury Secretary jamesbeck, Japanese Treasury Secretary Takeshita, former Federal German Treasury Secretary Gerhard Stoltenberg, French Treasury Secretary Pierre beregovo, British Treasury Secretary nigellawson and other finance ministers of five developed industrial countries held a meeting at the Plaza Hotel in New York, agreeing to intervene in the foreign exchange market and devalue the US dollar against major currencies in an orderly manner, To solve the huge trade deficit of the United States.
As the agreement was signed at Plaza Hotel, it is also called "Plaza Agreement". The agreement stipulates that the Japanese yen and the mark should rise sharply to restore the overvalued dollar price. After the signing of the Plaza Accord, the five countries intervened in the foreign exchange market and began to sell dollars, which triggered a selling boom among market investors and led to the continued sharp depreciation of the dollar.
Since then, the US government authorities headed by US Treasury Secretary Baker and experts represented by fredbergsten (then director of the US Institute of International Economics) continued to verbally intervene in the US dollar, saying that the US dollar exchange rate was still high at that time and there was still room for decline.
Due to the tough stance of the US government, the US dollar continued to fall sharply against the Japanese yen. In September, 1985, the exchange rate of the Japanese yen was 250 yen to pay 1 US dollar. Less than three months after the Plaza agreement came into effect, the Japanese yen rapidly appreciated to 200 yen to 1 US dollar, an increase of 20%. At the end of 1986, the exchange rate of the Japanese yen against the US dollar was 152 yen. In 1987, it reached the highest value of 120 yen against the US dollar.
Since the late 1980s, with the bursting of the foam economy, Japan has fallen into a decade of economic stagnation, known as the "lost decade". From high growth to long-term stagnation, Japan's development experience has provided valuable lessons for emerging countries with ambitious economic take-off plans.
As the most important producer and exporter of products, China's foreign exchange reserves unexpectedly leapt to the top in the world, and the RMB is facing great appreciation pressure, which is very similar to Japan in the mid-1980s.
Reviewing the economic development of Japan in the past three decades, the Plaza Agreement in 1985 was a turning point. Some analysts pointed out that after the Plaza Accord was reached, the appreciation of the yen hit Japan's export competitiveness, and the Japanese economy has been in a state of collapse for more than a decade. Even in the economic circles, a considerable number of people believe that the Plaza Accord is a big conspiracy set up by the United States to overthrow Japan.
The United States is now trying to do the same with China:
1. Unjustifiably accuse China of not protecting intellectual property rights;
2. China is accused of artificially manipulating the RMB and trying to make the RMB appreciate.
These methods are exactly the same as those used against Japan at that time, but China is a country completely different from Japan.
1. China has a huge domestic market, that is, the import market. China's import volume far exceeds that of Japan. This situation forces China to divert the attention of the United States by increasing procurement.
2. The internationalization of RMB is not as high as that of yen. A strong government is the strong backing of China's financial and monetary system. Western financial oligarchs including Soros cannot attack it.
Wright Hirsh, the deputy trade representative who launched the trade war against Japan on behalf of the United States at that time, served as the deputy trade representative of the United States from 1981 to 1989. From the early 1980s to the late 1980s, he and his colleagues were the biggest headache of the Japanese government. They succeeded in strangling the momentum of Japan's booming economy. He became famous at one stroke, and his brilliant record has always impressed trump, the real estate developer at that time.
Twenty years later, trump took him to the white house immediately after he took office. Only this time, Hirsch's opponent is no longer Japan, the primary partner of the United States, but China, the giant second only to the United States.
For his part, Wright Hesh is still immersed in the glory of the past. Therefore, this time, when he entered the white house again, he was still playing the old trick he used against Japan in those years - attacking China by using the US domestic law "trade 301". Now, he accused China of stealing American technology, began to impose restrictions on China's high-tech industry, forced China to come to the negotiating table with high tariff fines, and forced China to give up the development of high-tech industry. All these were the usual practices of the United States against Japan at that time.
In 1986, under the pressure of the United States, Japan and the United States signed the Japan US semiconductor agreement. On the one hand, Japan cancelled its own production capacity, on the other hand, Japan opened up its semiconductor market. From then on, Japan's semiconductor industry, which occupies a leading position in the world, embarked on a road of no return. In 1989, the United States launched a "301 investigation" on the Japanese government's procurement of satellites again, resulting in Japan having to give up its own satellite development plan, and the development of the aerospace industry stagnated.
Japan depends on the United States because of its comprehensive strength. Japan is politically dependent on the protection of the United States, economically dependent on the U.S. market, and financially unable to get rid of the U.S. dollar. When the United States could not win the game, they used outside forces, such as foreign exchange, laws, standards, rules and other hegemonic tactics to force the Japanese to surrender. This practice has been tried and tested. Until today, Japan is still in this lasso and cannot extricate itself.
The United States has found a way out and confidence in this regard. It believes it can do so in this way to deal with all the global competition that comes with it. They also used it to disarm Alcatel of France. They used the same method against Japan and China again and again, but the results were disastrous. When Canadian president Trudeau asked trump for help, he said the truth: "it is not so easy to deal with the Chinese people."
The reason is not complicated. This is because China is not as dependent on the United States as Japan. For example, markets are as interdependent as the United States and China. China has a population of 1.4 billion. From a development perspective, the United States will rely more on China. China is politically and militarily independent of each other and does not seek the protection of the United States.
As far as the dollar is concerned, the RMB is in a disadvantageous position, but China has trillions of dollars of foreign exchange reserves and will not panic when problems arise. In the fields of diplomacy, resources, industrial infrastructure and scientific research, China has taken the path of independent development for a long time, accumulated a relatively complete system, and has a strong ability to deal with various unexpected risks.
The reasons why the United States succeeded in forcing Japan to kneel down are as follows:
According to the provisions of the US Japan mutual cooperation and Security Treaty (1960), at the invitation of the Japanese government, about 31000 US military personnel remained in Japan as US troops stationed in Japan, rather than as occupying forces. The US military bases in Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Aomori, Sapporo and Ishikari and their surrounding areas are very active;
Japanese enterprises are excessively dependent on the American market;
The limitations and disadvantages of Japan's export-oriented economy.
Compared with China and the United States, Japan is a much smaller country, a small chain of trivial islands, and has almost no natural resources. After being bombed into submission, Japan needs the support of big powers. Japan cleverly uses the United States as a channel and dependence for international trade, and provides a military base to appease American bigotry.
Japan after World War II was created by the constitution of the United States. The United States restricted their military power. They turned Japan into a crippled pacifist, which made the United States have a strong influence in Japan. Japanese politicians and business circles are working for Congress and wall street. Therefore, Japan must abide by every rule of the United States. If Japan rewrites these rules, the consequences will be unimaginable.
China has a large population and a vast territory. Unlike Japan, China is a force that is difficult to surrender. Now, China has become an economic and military force that can not be ignored, and it is almost impossible to be bullied.
On the other hand, Japan relies on the United States for trade and allows the United States to set terms and conditions that are equivalent to obstacles, but as long as they are not at the point of subjugation, Japan can accept them.
However, China is inherently angry and tired of the "unequal treaties". In the early days of the founding of the people's Republic of China, they completely tore up these humiliating treaty documents. At present, a large number of American companies are doing business in China rather than Japan. Obstructing China will only make it self defeating. Trump has experienced this.
China is very independent, and the influence of the West on its country is zero. In addition, they have a strong political and economic system, which has made them strong after the reform and opening up. China will become the world's leading power by 2030, which means that the world will bear the influence of the United States, but it also has the influence from China.
After World War II, China was a poor country, which was despised by the powerful United States and the Soviet Union. They also threatened or even wanted to carry out a surgical nuclear strike on China. History has shown and proved that the Chinese people have a strong resilience, can withstand extreme suffering and burst out with amazing strength.
Trade war is a form of conflict between countries. Conflicts between countries do not necessarily begin and end with trade agreements, but sometimes end with peace treaties or ceasefire agreements. Please note that war is another form of conflict between countries. The most extreme and bloody conflict is usually the ultimate conflict. The United States will never start a hot war with China.
China has learned from its painful history what will happen when its military strength is weak. This is also the main reason why they so emphasize the upgrading and modernization of military capabilities. Even the powerful United States now makes it impossible to fight with China.