China says no to USA trade war, but vows to defend interests

12 March, 2018, 09:23 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Donald Trump with Xi Jinping

While he declined to say how Beijing planned to respond to the tariffs imposed by Washington on aluminium and steel imports, he said the two sides remained in talks on the issue.

China has refused to indulge in a trade war with the United States on Sunday, saying that it would bring disaster to the global economy.

A joint work group found that the trade deficit number tracked by the United States was overestimated by 21 percent a year ago, Zhong Shan, the Minister of Commerce told a press conference on the sidelines of the first session of the 13th National People's Congress.

US President Donald Trump this week delivered on his campaign promises to get tough on trade by imposing tariffs of 25 per cent and 10 per cent on steel and aluminium imports, respectively.

China has threatened to retaliate against increased trade barriers in the past but has yet to announce any new measures in response to Trump's tariffs.

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Zhong said nobody wants to fight a trade war, but he added that China can handle any challenge and will resolutely protect its interests.

China will provide support for participants and exempt least-developed countries from the exhibition fee, he said.

He further pointed out that different statistical methods widen the US trade deficit with China by around 20 percent, citing a research comparing the trade figures of China and U.S.

He noted that China's top economic adviser Liu He visited the USA recently and held "candid and constructive" talks with American officials on bilateral trade issues.

USA officials have said such sales would make up only a few percent of the deficit while possibly threatening American national security.

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In spite of the expected trade war between two nations, "We haven't halted economic dialogues and will continue the exchanges", the minister continued.

Liu He, Chinese President Xi Jinping's top economic adviser, visited Washington earlier this month in an attempt to smooth strained ties.

China's persistently high trade surplus with the USA is the root of the tension, and Trump has said he plans to trim it by US$100 billion. Surveys by business groups show companies are shifting emphasis to other Asian economies seen as more profitable or less restrictive.

"We want to cooperate with Japan further" in advancing the Chinese project, Zhong said.

Should the situation worsen, however, Zhong said that China was more than ready.

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