Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi says his country’s door of dialogue with the United States on resolving bilateral trade disputes remains open, reiterating that Beijing is not after a trade war with Washington.
“China’s door of dialogue and negotiation remains open, but any dialogue must be based on equality, mutual respect and rules. Any threat or pressure by one side will only be counterproductive,” Wang said during a joint press conference with visiting UK Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt on Monday.
The top Chinese diplomat said the current tensions were initiated by the US and the two countries should resolve their issues under the World Trade Organization (WTO) framework rather than in accordance with US law.
“China does not want to fight a trade war, but in the face of this aggressive attitude from the United States and violation of rights, we … must take countermeasures,” Wang added.
The Chinese foreign minister also blamed Washington for the trade imbalance between the two countries, noting that the US tariffs were an example of “unilateralism and economic hegemony, which is unlikely to be accepted by any sovereign state.”
Wang said about 60 percent of China’s trade surplus with the US was created by foreign companies operating in China and that US firms had reaped “huge profits” in the country.
In early July, Washington imposed 25 percent duties on $34 billion of imports from China as a first step in a possible series of increases that US President Donald Trump says could affect up to $550 billion of Chinese goods.
China, for its part, announced that its retaliatory tariffs had taken effect on $34 billion of US goods that included soybeans and electric vehicles.
The US administration recently announced that it would impose 10 percent tariffs on an extra $200 billion worth of Chinese goods after China retaliated.
Beijing, in response, blasted American unilateralism and filed a complaint with the WTO against the new US-proposed tariffs.
China warned the US that it would have no choice but to take “necessary countermeasures” against Washington.
Washington has also accused Beijing of intellectual property theft, obstructing US businesses, and being responsible for America’s 375-billion-dollar trade deficit with China.
China says Washington is "opening fire" on the world with its raft of tariffs aimed at Beijing as well as at trade partners in North America and Europe.