‘Don’t say we didn’t warn you’: A phrase from China signals the trade war could get even worse

  • CNBC
    May 29 2019
    By: Yun Li@YUNLI626

    KEY POINTS

  • “We advise the U.S. side not to underestimate the Chinese side’s ability to safeguard its development rights and interests. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!” the People’s Daily said in a commentary titled “United States, don’t underestimate China’s ability to strike back.”
  • The phrase “Don’t say we didn’t warn you” was only used two other times in history by the People’s Daily — in 1962 before China’s border war with India and ahead of the 1979 China-Vietnam War.
  • China threatened it would cut off rare earth minerals as a countermeasure in the escalated trade battle. The materials are crucial to the production of iPhones, electric vehicles and advanced precision weapons
Chinese President Xi Jinping stands by national flags.
Johannes Eisele | AFP | Getty Images

The biggest Chinese newspaper explicitly warned the U.S. on Wednesday that China would cut off rare earth minerals as a countermeasure in the escalated trade battle, using an expression the publication has only used twice in history, both of which involved full-on wars.

“We advise the U.S. side not to underestimate the Chinese side’s ability to safeguard its development rights and interests. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!” the People’s Daily said in a commentary titled “United States, don’t underestimate China’s ability to strike back.” The publication is the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China.

The phrase “Don’t say we didn’t warn you” was only used two other times in history by the People’s Daily — in 1962 before China’s border war with India and ahead of the 1979 China-Vietnam War.

“Will rare earths become a counter weapon for China to hit back against the pressure the United States has put on for no reason at all? The answer is no mystery,” the paper said.
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