China is beginning to react in the face of more U.S. policy being enacted that puts America first. China's Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan said Sunday the nation would not initiate a trade war with the United States. The Minister did, however, vow to defend China's national interests.
"There are no winners in a trade war, and it would bring disaster to our two countries as well as the rest of the world," the Minister said. Shan reacted to the intensifying of America first policy in a briefing at China’s annual parliamentary session.
"China does not wish to fight a trade war, nor will China initiate a trade war, but we can handle any challenge and will resolutely defend the interests of our country and our people," Shan said. The statement was the latest in a series directed at "problems in Sino-U.S. economic trade and cooperation."
President Trump announced Thursday he would enact a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum. The tariffs will not extend to big steel producers in Canada and Mexico but only temporarily. Trade wars have been a common threat in the past from Chinese leaders.
Although, the nation has yet to take any direct action in the wake of President Trump's latest tariff. Shan cited Chinese researchers saying the U.S. has been exaggerating its trade deficit with China to the tune of 20 percent a year but gave no indication of how the statistics were reached.
In 2017, the United States reported a $375 billion deficit with China, even with a 20 percent reduction it still ranks among the largest trade deficits of any country the U.S. does business with. According to Shan, the deficit is partly due to controls over U.S. high-tech exports to China.
He insisted that Washington could reduce the gap if it allows China to buy more "dual use" technology like supercomputers and advanced military technology. The latest tariff follows another tariff approved earlier this year on Chinese-made washing machines, solar modules, and various other electronic related items.
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s top economic adviser, Liu He, even visited Washington in recent weeks in an attempt to smooth over relations between the two countries.
"We have noticed that some foreign-funded businesses have complained about China’s investment environment,” Minister Shan continued. "The fact that they have complaints indicates that they are still paying attention to China’s development and have confidence in China’s market."
The Minister also doubled down on Premier Li Keqiang's promise to liberalize the manufacturing industry. The promise also included expanding promising sectors like education, medical care, and new energy vehicles but no details of just how they would deliver were given.
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