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Beijing ready to take necessary measures against US tariffs


Source: Global Times    Published: 2018-9-17

The foreign ministry on Monday vowed to firmly safeguard China's legal interests and strike back as necessary at new US tariffs on Chinese products.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang told a regular briefing on Monday that his ministry and the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) have reiterated the same standpoint several times on China-US trade.

"I stress two aspects again," Geng said. "First, if the US releases any new tariffs on China, China will have to take necessary measures to strike back and firmly safeguard its legitimate rights.

"Second, the escalating trade frictions are not in line with any country's interests, and China submits that the only way to resolve trade frictions is through dialogue and negotiations on the basis of equality and mutual trust."

US President Donald Trump will likely announce new tariffs of about $200 billion on Chinese imports soon, a senior administration official told Reuters on Saturday.

The report came after the US invited China to a new round of trade talks. Chinese observers surmised this move might indicate US public pressure has changed the Washington's attitude on trade friction.

China "welcomes" the invitation and has always held that an escalation of the trade conflict is not in anyone's interest, Gao Feng, a MOFCOM spokesman, told a routine press briefing on Thursday.

He Weiwen, a former economic and commercial counselor at the Chinese consulates in San Francisco and New York, told the Global Times on Monday that the American people do not want a trade war.

"Some US think tanks and media claim the US attitude toward China has changed and have begun to see China as an enemy," He said. "That claim is inaccurate."

The American people, local governments and companies hope to cooperate with China, said He.

The elites cannot represent the US and "we should be confident about the long-term relationship between China and the US," He said.

"China has released several policies on allowing foreign companies to enter the Chinese market," He said. "In future, if China expands its market, the manufacturing industry will return to China instead of the US."

China should not merely eye the US market, He said, but find replacement markets in countries along the route of the Belt and Road initiative, the European Union or BRICS.

Chen Fengying, a research fellow at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations in Beijing said that apart from negotiating with the US, China should continue adjusting its foreign trade structure and open its markets.

"If some people turn to products from other countries, it also will benefit the country by promoting the diversification of imports."

Diao Daming, an American studies expert and associate professor at Renmin University of China, said many US companies and organizations have expressed concern that imposing tariffs will hurt US consumers.

He Weiwen is a senior fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China.

Key Words:China   US   tariffs   He Weiwen  

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