We’ll continue talking to United States over trade war, says China

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China and the U.S. have agreed to keep talking about their trade dispute, the Chinese government said on Tuesday as U.S. President Donald Trump said he thought recent discussions in Beijing would be successful.

The slightly more optimistic comments came after both sides ramped up their trade war, with China announcing details of new tariffs against U.S. imports on Monday, following the U.S. move last week to target Chinese imports.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office said it planned to hold a public hearing in June on the possibility of imposing duties of up to 25 per cent on a further 300 billion dollars worth of imports from China.

Cellphones and laptops would be included in that list but pharmaceuticals would be excluded, the office said.

The prospect of global economy being derailed by the U.S. and China sliding into a fiercer, more protracted dispute has rattled investors and led to a sharp selloff on equities markets in the past week.

“My understanding is that China and the U.S. have agreed to continue pursuing relevant discussions.
“As for how they are pursued, I think that hinges upon further consultations between the two sides,’’

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang said at the daily news conference.
But China will not be bullied, he added.

“We hope that the U.S. side does not misjudge the situation and not underestimate China’s determination and will to safeguard its interests.”

Sources have said talks stalled after China tried to delete commitments from a draft agreement that its laws would be changed to enact new policies on issues from intellectual property protection to forced technology transfers.

Geng said China had shown sincerity by still sending a high level delegation to the U.S. for talks last week and that China has remained calm in the face of pressure.

He put the blame on Washington for going back on its word in some previous rounds of talks, including last May, when the two reached an agreement in Washington but then the U.S. backed out a few days later.

“So you absolutely can’t put the hat on China of reversing positions and going back on one’s promises,” Geng said, adding China has shown goodwill in the talks and has kept its promises.

(Reuters/NAN)

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