China warns U.S. against acting in a ‘reckless’ way

Daniel Fowler
May 31, 2018

Trade talks between the two countries will continue, the statement said, and the United States has asked Beijing to remove "all of its many trade barriers" that prevent American companies from doing business in China, and has also said that "tariffs and taxes between the two countries be reciprocal in nature and value".

She said the US' threat to raise duties on Chinese goods goes against the consensus the two countries reached in Washington and jointly announced earlier in May.

"In worldwide relations, every sudden flip-flop and contradiction of one's word depletes and squanders a country's credibility", she said.

Six weeks ago, the US Commerce Department banned ZTE, the fourth-largest smartphone maker in the US, from buying crucial parts from American companies after it was determined that the company violated terms of a 2017 deal in which it admitted it had violated sanctions on Iran and North Korea. "No matter what measures the US will take, China is confident and capable of defending our national interests", the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said on Tuesday.

The White House accused China of placing outrageous levies and requirements on stuff exported from the States to the Middle Kingdom, for allowing Chinese organizations to rip off American technology or steal blueprints through corporate espionage, and basically for making life hard for U.S. enterprises.

Asian financial markets tumbled on renewed worries about a U.S.

The final list of Chinese products will be announced by June 15 and the tariffs will go into effect shortly afterwards.

If the resumption of Trump's tariff threat is created to put pressure on Beijing in advance of Ross' arrival on Saturday, it could backfire. "The tariffs and the other stuff are totally discretionary and can be waived", said Jeff Moon, a former USA trade negotiator.

"The Chinese government is known for using their military's cyber capabilities to hack into private USA tech firms, stealing IP, then transferring the technology to state-run companies who profit from its development", he said. But they fear the president's focus on tariffs will hurt them as much as China, by disrupting supply chains, depressing demand for their products and sparking retaliation by Beijing.

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State news agency Xinhua said China hoped that the United States would not act impulsively but stood ready to fight to protect its own interests.

According to a translated statement following the announcement, China's commerce ministry responded, "the strategic statement issued by the White House is both surprising and expected". But he said American companies want equal treatment, "and this seems to be one of the ways to do that".

Also Wednesday, the Chinese Cabinet announced it planned to complete work by July 1 on another measure sought for years by its trading partners - a "negative list" that would make clear what is off-limits to foreign investment, leaving the rest of the economy open.

Foreign companies are frustrated by a system that requires them to wait for Chinese regulators to declare individual lines of business open to them.

Critics had accused the administration of going soft on China after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said tariffs were on hold while the two sides continue trade talks.

As Chinese companies expand overseas, the United States, Europe and other trading partners are pressing Beijing to ease controls that keep their companies out of industries including banking, insurance, telecoms and health care.

"China poses unprecedented threat", Rubio wrote.

In a weird way, though, Ross may have an edge in these negotiations. This was a "win-win" because it would reduce the trade deficit while providing high-quality products that Chinese consumers need, he said.

All three measures are being taken as a result of a seven-month investigation the Trump administration began into China's handling of data and intellectual property, which wrapped up in late March.

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