China blames US for trade frictions
Posted on 04/25/20 7:45 PM
US President Donald Trump has tweeted China will take down trade barriers amid tit-for-tat tariffs.China has stepped up its attacks on the Trump administration over billions of dollars worth of threatened tariffs, saying Washington is to blame for trade frictions and it’s impossible to negotiate under “current circumstances”.
The comments come after US President Donald Trump on Sunday predicted China would take down its trade barriers, and expressed optimism that both sides could resolve the issue through talks.
Chinese state researchers and media talked down the likely impact of US trade measures on the world’s second largest economy and described the Trump administration’s posturing on trade as the product of an “anxiety disorder”.
“Under the current circumstances, both sides even more cannot have talks on these issues,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters at a regular news briefing on Monday.
“The United States with one hand wields the threat of sanctions, and at the same time says they are willing to talk. I’m not sure who the United States is putting on this act for,” Geng said.
The trade frictions were “entirely at the provocation of the United States”, he added.
Beijing did not want to fight a trade war, but was not afraid of one, Vice Commerce Minister Qian Keming said at the Boao Forum for Asia in the southern province of Hainan.
The US move last week to threaten China with tariffs on $US50 billion in Chinese goods was aimed at forcing Beijing to address what Washington says is deeply entrenched theft of US intellectual property and forced technology transfer from US companies.
Chinese officials deny such charges, and responded within hours of Trump’s announcement of tariffs with their own proposed commensurate duties. The move prompted Trump to threaten duties on an additional $US100 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods.
None of the measures have yet gone into effect, offering some hope for compromise and a watering down of the proposals even as both sides’ rhetoric grows more strident.
Zhang Yuyan, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a government think-tank, said China was unlikely to sell off its holdings of US Treasury bonds as a tactic in the trade dispute.
China is evaluating the potential impact of a gradual yuan depreciation as a tool in the trade dispute, Bloomberg News reported on Monday, though it said the analysis doesn’t mean officials will carry out the move.