13, May 2019
China’s state media says the country does not want to engage in a trade war with the United States as it will have no winner, but Beijing is not afraid to do so.
The remarks were made in a commentary which is due to be published on Monday by the ruling Communist Party’s People’s Daily, but whose text was carried by the official Xinhua news agency the night before.
It also said China’s door to talks with the US about their trade dispute is always open, but China will not yield on important issues of principle and will never brush aside its priorities.
In similar comments on Friday, Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He had noted that cooperation is the only right choice for China and the United States, but China will not compromise on major issues of principle.
Cooperation is the only right choice for the two sides, but it has to be based on principles, said the vice premier in a group interview with Chinese media after the conclusion of the 11th round of high-level economic and trade consultations between the two sides in Washington.
The comments come after China and the US failed to reach a deal to end their months-long trade dispute.
People with knowledge of the talks between the two sides said on Friday that US President Donald Trump has reportedly given China a one-month ultimatum to seal a trade deal or face tariffs on all its exports to the United States.
China-US negotiations broke down last week after Chinese representatives reportedly backtracked on promises to address issues like theft of intellectual property, after which the US announced an increase of Chinese tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.
Trump has urged China to either sign the deal now or it will be forced to sign a far worse agreement in future. However, China says it won’t make concessions on issues of principle.
China strongly opposes US tariff hikes, which are harmful not only to China and the United States, but to the world at large, and China will have to take necessary countermeasures, the Chinese vice premier said Friday.
‘US will suffer‘
One of Trump’s top economic advisers has acknowledged the president was wrong to suggest that China would pay tariffs on its exports to the US.
Larry Kudlow, who heads the National Economic Council, accepted it was US businesses that paid the import tax from Chinese goods.
He told Fox News that he believed “both sides will suffer” from the escalating trade dispute.
Trump’s view, however, is at odds with his top economic advisor’s. On Sunday, Trump weighed in on the state of trade negotiations with China, saying the US was “right where we want to be” — namely, on the cusp of taking in massive tariffs from China.
On Twitter, he said of China, “they LOVE ripping off America!” He also refloated a plan from Friday to redirect money generated by tariffs to buy up American agricultural products and “distribute the food to starving people” around the world — a suggestion that has already drawn skepticism.