US hurting its own credibility with U-turn on trade: China

Beijing
30 May 2018

China today said the Trump adminstration is hurting its own credibility by every "flip-flop and U-turn" on trade tariffs, and warned that it does not want a trade war but will take forceful measures to defend its legitimate interests.

Hitting back at the Trump administration's threat to impose a 25 per cent tariff on USD 50 billion goods imported from China, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said, "In international relations, every flip-flop and U-turn by a country will undermine and hurt its own credibility." 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. She urged the US to keep its "word and work" with China according to the spirit demonstrated in the joint announcement.

"China does not want, but is not afraid of, a trade war," Hua said. "China will surely take resolute and powerful steps to safeguard its legitimate rights if the US insists on acting recklessly."  Hua also called for handling trade disputes through talks on an equal basis and in a constructive way, which is "in line with the fundamental and long-term interests of both the Chinese and American people, as well as the common aspirations of the international community."  The White House yesterday announced that it will impose a hefty 25 per cent tariff on the USD 50 billion worth of Chinese goods containing "industrially significant" technology including those related to the 'Made in China 2025' programme, days after the two sides reached an agreement and vowed not to launch a trade war against each other.

The announcement came just ahead of US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross's visit to China from Saturday. China's Ministry of Commerce said yesterday that the US statement is contrary to the consensuses the two sides previously reached in Washington.