Trade dispute could lead to 'greater destruction'

World | ASSOCIATED PRESS 31 May 2019

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad called for talks to resolve the ongoing trade dispute between Washington and Beijing and urged the world to accept China's technological prowess.

The US cannot expect to always be at the top in technology, and countries need to talk to deal with a powerful China, Mahathir said at a conference in Tokyo. He also appeared to side with Chinese telecom giant Huawei, which the United States has put on a blacklist.

"We try to make use of their technology as much as possible," Mahathir told the Future of Asia conference, noting that Huawei has achieved a "tremendous advance over American technology."

"We have to accept that the US cannot forever be the supreme nation in the world that can have the best technology in the world," he said.

The Trump administration has imposed 25 percent tariffs on US$250 billion (HK$1.95 trillion) in Chinese imports and escalated the stakes this month by effectively barring US companies from supplying Huawei with components without government approval.

Mahathir said nations with differing ideologies must be able to get along. "It is worth it to talk to each other and stop this confrontation," he said.

He warned that conflict between the two nations would only lead to "greater destruction."

"We want to see reasonable, responsible countries sit down around a table and discuss problems," he said.

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