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US-China trade war could last 20 years: Jack Ma

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Jack Ma
Jack Ma (File Photo)

Beijing, Sep 19: Tech tycoon Jack Ma has told investors to hunker down for a drawn out trade war between the US and China that can last for up to 20 years.

“It’s going to last long, it’s going to be a mess,” Ma, the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba, said on Tuesday at an annual conference for Alibaba investors.

Just hours after the Trump administration slapped a new round of tariffs on Chinese goods worth $200 billion, Ma said the US-China trade war will last not for 20 months or 20 days, but “maybe 20 years”.

That would mean no easing of tensions between the world’s top two economies for many years after President Donald Trump has left office, even if he serves a second term, the CNN reported.

While the tech billionaire dismissed speculation that geopolitical headwinds played a part in the surprise announcement of his retirement last week, he acknowledged that the ongoing spat with China’s largest trade partner is hurting Alibaba’s business.

Shares in Alibaba closed 3.5 per cent lower on Monday. The company’s stock is down 25 per cent from its all-time high in June.

Ma said a lot of businesses in China and the US will be in trouble in the short term, and eventually, Chinese firms will be forced to turn to other countries, CNN reported.

Ma said the trade war is “against China” but also criticised his country’s policies, urging leaders to view the pain inflicted by Trump’s tariffs as an opportunity to “upgrade”. “China must open the market,” he added.

Ma reassured investors that the $410 billion company he helped build is in safe hands. He announced last week that he will step down from Alibaba in a year’s time, handing over the reins to CEO Daniel Zhang.

“I’m 100% sure Daniel will do a better job than I do,” Ma said. The 54-year-old former teacher repeated his desire to pursue a new career, likely in the field of education.

“I’m not sad at all. I think I’m still young,” he said. “In Alibaba I’m old, but in my career I’m still young.”

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France’s Macron urges UN mission to visit China’s Xinjiang region

“This is the reason why … France has requested that an international mission under the aegis of the United Nations go to Xinjiang in order to take into account the concerns that we collectively have on the situation of the Muslim Uighur minority,”

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Uighur Muslim rights

PARIS : France’s president on Tuesday called for an international mission under the auspices of the United Nations to visit China’s Xinjiang due to concerns over the Muslim Uighur minority.

U.N. experts and activists say at least a million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims are held in detention centres in Xinjiang. China describes them as training centres helping stamp out terrorism and extremism and giving people new skills.

“Fundamental rights are not a Western idea that one could oppose as an interference … these are the principles of our organisation, enshrined in texts that the member states of the United Nations have freely consented to sign and to respect,” Emmanuel Macron said in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly.

“This is the reason why … France has requested that an international mission under the aegis of the United Nations go to Xinjiang in order to take into account the concerns that we collectively have on the situation of the Muslim Uighur minority,” he said.

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Israel reports 2,445 new Covid-19 cases; 193,374 in total

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Jerusalem, Sep 23 : Israel’s Ministry of Health reported 2,445 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the total confirmed cases to 193,374.

The total count of deaths from the coronavirus in Israel rose by 12 to 1,285, while the number of patients in serious condition rose from 653 to 668, out of 1,352 patients currently hospitalised, Xinhua news agency reported.

The number of recoveries in the country increased by 3,971 to 140,751, while the number of active Covid-19 cases stood at 51,338.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Israeli government approved a plan to expand the national economic safety net to deal with the pandemic’s impact.

“Expanding the plan will enable immediate economic assistance for businesses and wage-earners who are expected to be hurt by the current Covid-19 nationwide lockdown,” said a joint statement by the Prime Minister’s Office and Finance Ministry.

The expansion includes the lowering of damage threshold for businesses to receive fixed expenditure grants to 25 per cent, providing advances against the fixed expenditure grants, a comprehensive worker retention plan, and deferring the reduction in unemployment benefits.

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Disaster

United States Covid deaths top 200,000 as questions linger over halting virus spread

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Coronavirus Death US

The US death toll from the coronavirus exceeded 200,000, as some guidelines and practices for stopping the disease’s spread have been called into question.

While the data compiled by Johns Hopkins University indicated that 52,000 new cases had been reported on Monday, some 21,800 of those new cases came from the release of backlogged data in Texas.

The US logged 36,695 new cases on Sunday, Johns Hopkins reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention caused uncertainty Monday when it removed from its website newly posted guidelines saying the coronavirus could be transmitted by tiny particles that linger in the air.

The agency said a draft version of proposed changes was posted in error.

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COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalization.