China to take all necessary countermeasures against possible trade war: Chinese ambassador to US

Xinhua
China opposes trade protectionism and will fight against any possible trade war, said Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai in a TV interview with Bloomberg.
Xinhua

China opposes trade protectionism and will fight against any possible trade war, said Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai in a TV interview with US Bloomberg on Friday.

Cui said the Chinese side is clearly against any unilateral protectionist moves and a trade war, which "would hurt everybody, including the United States itself, and that would certainly hurt the daily life of the American middle-class people, the American companies and the financial market."

"We (the Chinese authorities) don't want a trade war with anybody, and we still try to avoid one. But if a trade war is forced on earth, we have to fight back," he said, adding that "We will take all measures necessary."

The ambassador said that there is great potential for China-US cooperation, "but the key is that both sides have to take a cooperative and constructive approach; a confrontational one will not help anybody."

He said any disputes and differences between the two countries should be solved through dialogues and consultations, and China will never yield to threats or coercion.

As for the impact of the US actions, the ambassador said the world economy is closely interconnected with shared interests among countries.

Despite a surplus with the United States, China has large deficits with other countries at the same time, which is a good illustration of the nature of the global supply chain, Cui said.

"People have to be careful when they take actions, they may hurt everybody, including themselves," he also said.

Besides, the diplomat said: "We have a surplus with the United States, which is quite big. We want to cut it down ... It is an agreement between China and the US that this has to be reduced for the benefits of both countries."

He also said there is an ongoing conversation between the two governments, and "we don't quite understand why such a unilateral action is taken."

Cui added that the US accusation of China's trade practices, as well as that on intellectual property rights, for instance, is groundless.

"Chinese laws protect intellectual property rights, and we are ready to help any business that sees violations, but there is no evidence provided," Cui explained.

"There is no law or regulation that forces technology transfers (in China) ... And businesses will only make deals that they believe are good for them. But if they have any complaints, they should resort to Chinese law, and we will help them," he added.

When asked about the proposed US restrictions on investments from China, Cui said that action will not make any positive political or economic sense since the measure "is not based on good reason," which may hurt the US local economies, cause losses of jobs and eventually do harm to the US economy as a whole.

Despite warnings from business groups and trade experts, US President Donald Trump signed a memorandum on Thursday that could impose tariffs on up to US$60 billion of imports from China and restrict Chinese investments in the United States, fueling fears that the world's two largest economies could be sliding towards a trade war.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying on Friday reaffirmed China's position on the US trade moves, saying that China will fight to the end in any trade war and urging the United States to make rational and prudent decisions.

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