Tue, Apr 10, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Trade talks currently ‘impossible’: PRC

AFP, BEIJING

The Yangshan Deepwater Port in Shanghai, China, is pictured yesterday.

Photo: AFP

China yesterday said that trade talks with the US were “impossible” under current conditions after US President Donald Trump reassured markets by suggesting that the dispute could be resolved.

The two sides have announced tit-for-tat tariffs and threatened to hit each other with more duties.

Asian markets rose yesterday after Trump tweeted that he saw an end to the escalating dispute before the higher tariffs threatened on hundreds of billions worth of goods would come into effect.

However, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs was less sanguine.

“Up to now, Chinese and US officials have not held any negotiations on the trade dispute,” ministry spokesman Geng Shuang (耿爽) told reporters during a regular news briefing.

“Under the current conditions, it is impossible for the two sides to have any negotiations on this issue,” Geng added.

A few hours later, Trump returned to tougher talk with an early-morning tweet railing against China’s duties on US cars.

“When a car is sent to the United States from China, there is a Tariff to be paid of 2 1/2%. When a car is sent to China from the United States, there is a Tariff to be paid of 25%,” Trump tweeted. “Does that sound like free or fair trade. No, it sounds like STUPID TRADE -- going on for years!”

Trump had sounded an optimistic tone on Sunday, playing up his personal relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平).

“President Xi and I will always be friends,” Trump tweeted. “China will take down its trade barriers because it is the right thing to do.”

The global value chain could be disrupted by a US-China trade war, Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Qian Keming (錢克明) said yesterday at the Boao Forum for Asia under way on Hainan Island.

China is unwilling to fight a trade war, but is not afraid of one, he said.

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