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While Trump Describes Tariff War with China as 'a Little Squabble', Wang Yi Says Trade Talks Should be Based on Equality

May 14, 2019

Xi and Trump  


China-U.S. trade talks should be based on equality: Chinese FM

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-14 15:19:20|Editor: Xiaoxia

SOCHI, Russia, May 14 (Xinhua) --

China and the United States should carry out their trade talks on the basis of equality instead of blaming and pressuring on the other side during the process of negotiation, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here on Monday.

He made the remarks at a press conference following a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

When asked about the prospects for China-U.S. trade talks, Wang said Beijing and Washington have made significant and substantial progress with their joint efforts, but certain difficulties remain to be carefully handled and resolved.

Under such circumstances, unilateral accusation is meaningless while shifting responsibility is unacceptable, he said, warning that exerting maximum pressure will only trigger legitimate countermeasures.

China's move is meant to not only protect its due rights and interests, but also safeguard the basic rules of multilateral trade mechanism, Wang added.

Wang underlined that the negotiation is not a one-way lane but should be carried out on the basis of equality, saying it is impossible to expect one side to readily accept the other's request.

China will always safeguard its sovereignty, Chinese people's interests and national dignity when negotiating with any country, he said.

The outlook for trade links between China and the United States -- the world's two largest economies -- not only matters to their own development, but also bears on the prospect of the world economy.

Therefore, as long as the negotiation is in line with China's reform and opening up policy, its pursuit of high-quality development, and the common and long-term interests of the two peoples, the negotiators of both sides will have the ability and wisdom to properly address their reasonable demand and reach a mutually beneficial agreement, he said.


Trump: No collapse in China trade talks, tariff war 'a little squabble'

Alexandra Alper, Susan Heavey

May 14, 2019, WASHINGTON (Reuters) -

U.S. President Donald Trump insisted on Tuesday that trade talks with China have not collapsed and called the widening U.S.-China tariff war “a little squabble,” even as his administration readies 25% duties on all remaining Chinese imports.

Expanding on a stream of optimistic early morning tweets about the state of talks, Trump told reporters that he has a “very good dialogue” going with China and touted his “extraordinary” relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“We have a dialogue going. It will always continue,” Trump said. “But we made a deal with China ... We had a deal that was very close but then they broke it. They really did.”

Trump appeared to downplay the scope of the trade war, which could lead to tariffs this summer on all trade between the world’s two largest economies, raising costs and disrupting supply chains across the globe.

“We’re having a little squabble with China because we’ve been treated very unfairly for many, many decades,” Trump said, referring to U.S. complaints about Chinese intellectual property and subsidy practices.

Stocks, which took a beating on Monday after Trump late on Friday threatened a new round of tariffs on about $300 billion worth of remaining imports from China, gained strength after Trump’s comments, with the tech-driven Nasdaq up 1.47% in midday trade.

The Dow Jones Industrial average was up 1.28% while the broader S&P 500 was up 1.3%.

Trump earlier tweeted that a deal would happen and appealed to China to buy U.S. farm products.

“When the time is right we will make a deal with China,” Trump said. “It will all happen, and much faster than people think!”

“Hopefully China will do us the honor of continuing to buy our great farm product, the best, but if not your Country will be making up the difference,” he wrote in post addressing U.S. farmers directly..

Trump on Monday said that his administration was planning to provide about $15 billion in aid to help U.S. farmers whose products were targeted by Chinese retaliatory tariffs. He declined to provide details on the plan, which follows $12 billion in U.S. farm aid last year.

Soybeans, the most valuable U.S. crop, bounced off a decade low on Tuesday as the market’s focus shifted to planting delays due to poor weather, which could reduce crop size. Some analysts said the worst of the trade news is already priced in the market.


Trump also said on Monday that he expected to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at a G20 leaders summit in Japan in late June.

Based on an accelerated schedule laid out by the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) office late on Monday, Trump will be in a position to launch 25% tariffs on another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods when he meets with Xi, adding potential leverage.

USTR said it would hold a public hearing on the tariff list on June 17, with final comments due as little as seven days later. The list includes a wide range of consumer goods, from cellphones and computers to clothing and footwear, but it excludes pharmaceuticals, some specialty compounds and rare-earth minerals.

As negotiations toward resolving the U.S.-China trade war stalled last week, Trump escalated pressure by increasing tariffs on Friday to 25% from 10% on a previous, $200 billion list of Chinese imports.

China retaliated on Monday with higher tariffs on a revised list of $60 billion worth of U.S. products

The prospect of the global economy being derailed by the United States and China sliding into a fiercer, more protracted dispute has rattled investors and sparked a sharp selloff on equities markets in the past week.

Some members of Congress who have been supportive of Trump’s tough stance on China expressed concern that the president is escalating tariffs without an exit strategy.

“Let’s be blunt: it’s a tax on the American consumer and the American manufacturer ... who’s paying about $1.4 billion a month in new tariffs,” Democratic Senator Chris Coons said in an interview with MSNBC on Tuesday.

In China, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.7% and the blue chip CSI 300 fell 0.6% Tuesday but found support after Chinese state-backed purchases..

However, the onshore yuan weakened 0.1% to its lowest level since Dec. 27, 2018, trading at 6.8874 per dollar, after China’s Foreign Ministry said it hoped the United States does not “underestimate China’s determination and will to safeguard its interests.”

“My understanding is that China and the United States have agreed to continue pursuing relevant discussions. As for how they are pursued, I think that hinges upon further consultations between the two sides,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing, without giving details.

Sources have said talks stalled after China tried to delete commitments from a draft agreement that its laws would be changed to enact new policies on issues from intellectual property protection to forced technology transfers.

Geng put the blame on Washington for going back on its word in some previous rounds of talks, including last May, when the two reached an agreement in Washington but then the United States backed out a few days later. 

“So you absolutely can’t put the hat on China of reversing positions and going back on one’s promises,” Geng said, adding China had shown goodwill in the talks and kept its promises.

Reporting by Susan Heavey, Makini Brice and David Lawder in Washington; Julie Ingwersen in Chicago; Ben Blanchard in Beijing and Noah Sin in Hong Kong; Writing by David Lawder; Editing by Susan Thomas


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