Fri, Apr 13, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Xi’s pledge to open market unrelated to trade spat: Beijing

‘ONE-SIDED COERCION’:The Ministry of Commerce said that there are no talks with the US on the matter due to Washington’s ‘lack of sincerity for negotiation’

AFP, BEIJING

Beijing yesterday denied Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) pledge this week to further open the country’s economy was related to its trade dispute with the US, saying that there were currently no negotiations between the two sides.

Xi on Tuesday vowed to ease tariffs and further open the Chinese economy in what was seen as a conciliatory gesture to temper fears of a trade war with the US after US President Donald Trump last week threatened fresh levies on billions of dollars of Chinese goods.

Trump welcomed the speech and said he saw an end to the dispute, which has roiled markets since early last month.

However, Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng (高峰) yesterday said that Beijing was ready to strike back if the US presses on with its nationalist economic agenda.

“If the US side takes its own course and insists on carrying out unilateralism and trade protectionism, the Chinese side will fight resolutely and take them on until the end,” Gao told reporters at a regular news briefing.

World markets rallied after Xi pledged at an economic forum to lower car tariffs, protect intellectual property and take other steps to open China’s economy “wider and wider.”

However, Gao said the measures are proactive and have nothing to do with the trade frictions between China and the US.

“China took the initiative to open up and made it possible for all countries across the world to ride on the express of China’s economic development,” Gao said. “We hope some people in the United States don’t misjudge the situation.”

“Up to now, China and the US have not carried out negotiations at any level on the trade frictions. The US side has not shown any sincerity for negotiation in its actions,” he said. “China will not carry out any negotiation under one-sided coercion.”

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