China yesterday warned after another round of talks on a sprawling trade dispute with Washington that any deals they produce “will not take effect” if US President Donald Trump’s threatened tariff hike on Chinese goods goes ahead.
The warning came after delegations led by US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and China’s top economic official, Vice Premier Liu He (劉鶴), wrapped up a meeting on Beijing’s pledge to narrow its trade surplus.
Ross said at the start of the event that they had discussed specific US exports China might purchase, but the talks ended with no joint statement and neither side released details.
The White House threw the meeting’s status into doubt on Tuesday by renewing a threat to impose 25 percent tariffs on US$50 billion of Chinese high-tech goods in response to complaints Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.
The event went ahead despite that, but Beijing said it reserved the right to retaliate.
“If the United States introduces trade sanctions, including a tariff increase, all the economic and trade achievements negotiated by the two parties will not take effect,” said the Chinese statement, carried by Xinhua news agency.
The negotiating process should be “based on the premise” of not fighting a “trade war,” the statement said.
The US embassy in Beijing did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump is pressing Beijing to narrow its politically volatile trade surplus with the US, which reached a record US$375.2 billion last year.
Tensions eased after China promised on May 19 to “significantly increase” purchases of farm goods, energy and other products and services following the last round of talks in Washington.
US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said the dispute was “on hold” and the tariff hike would be postponed.
That truce appeared to end with Tuesday’s surprise announcement.
Private sector analysts say that while Beijing is willing to compromise on its trade surplus, it will resist changes that might threaten plans to transform China into a global technology competitor.
Ross was accompanied by agriculture, Treasury and trade officials for the meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse. Liu’s delegation included People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang (易綱) and the minister of commerce.
Ross and Liu held a working dinner on Saturday.
“Our meetings so far have been friendly and frank, and covered some useful topics about specific export items,” said Ross at the opening of yesterday’s meeting.
HONG KONG SECURITY: The president blasted regulations requiring Taiwanese agents or political organizations to provide information on their Hong Kong-related activities President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday warned of countermeasures should controversial Chinese national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong undermine or harm Taiwanese interests. Article 43 of the legislation empowers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to serve written notices to Taiwanese political organizations or individual agents to furnish information on their Hong Kong-related activities, including their personal particulars, finances, assets, expenditure and capital in the territory. Failure to comply or providing false or incomplete information can result in a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,903) or imprisonment of six months or two years respectively. Tsai said that Taiwan would keep a close watch on how
PROBE LAUNCHED: An officer who served as a supervisor in the drill died in an apparent suicide after the accident, which was caused by unexpected waves Two marines who were on Friday injured in a military exercise in the waters off Kaohsiung passed away yesterday, Navy Command said. The marines — surnamed Tsai (蔡), 26, and a sergeant surnamed Chen (陳), 36 — were in a seven-member Marine Corps team that encountered rough seas during a simulated response to enemy forces landing on Taiwan. Their rubber craft overturned in waters off Taoziyuan (桃子園) beach in Zuoying District (左營), injuring four of the marines. They were rushed to hospital, where three of them — Tsai, Chen and a 34-year-old sergeant — were taken to an intensive care unit
MORAL COURAGE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged the global community to face China’s intention to subdue Taiwan and reject such irrational requests The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday strongly condemned the Chinese government for meddling with US officials’ interactions with Taiwan after FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed China’s efforts to discourage US officials from visiting Taiwan. The greatest long-term threat to the US’ information security and intellectual property, as well as its economic vitality, is China’s counterintelligence and economic espionage operations, Wray told a video event at the Hudson Institute in Washington. Beijing is engaged in a highly sophisticated and maligning foreign influence campaign, with methods that include bribery, blackmail and covert deals, he said. Giving an example, Wray said that when a US official
CAUTION: Taiwan had zero cases of death from food poisoning for six years until last year, when two people died after eating wildlife, an FDA official said The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday urged the public not to eat wildlife or unidentified wild plants, as they could be fatal, with nearly 7,000 people affected by food poisoning last year, including two deaths due to wildlife consumption. The number of food poisoning incidents increased by nearly 50 percent last year, from 398 cases involving 4,616 people in the previous year to 503 cases involving 6,944 people, FDA data showed. That figure was the second-highest in history, the FDA said, adding that the highest number was recorded in 1997, with 7,235 people. Among the 503 cases, 87 were food poisoning clusters