Won't hesitate to fight back if USA escalates trade war, warns China

CC BY-SA 2.0

CC BY-SA 2.0

In an address to the Boao Forum for Asia on Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that Beijing planned to reduce import tariffs for vehicles and other goods. We believe China is willing to negotiate and make its market more open.

Beijing charges that Washington is the aggressor and spurring global protectionism, although China's trading partners have complained for years that it abuses World Trade Organization rules and practices unfair industrial policies that lock foreign companies out of crucial sectors with the intent of creating domestic champions.

Gao once again struck down market hopes that the world's two largest economies have been negotiating on trade issues. "We're encouraged by the words but we want to see concrete steps and concrete action", Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said.

"We must refrain from seeking dominance and reject the zero-sum game, we must refrain from "beggar thy neighbor" and reject power politics or hegemony while the strong bully the weak", Jinping said.

"What you are seeing in the market is an alleviation of trade war fears and people trying to get back in and reposition themselves for what they hope - no trade war", said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist at SlateStone Wealth LLC in NY.

Promising a "new phase of opening up", he said China will "considerably lower" tariffs on cars and other products this year, take measures to liberalise automobile investment, and protect intellectual property - all areas that have been high on the list of demands by Washington.

Chinese officials have been promising since at least 2013 to ease restrictions on foreign joint ventures in the auto industry, which would allow foreign companies to take a majority stake. "China is voluntarily showing a very good gesture of opening up". He reiterated general pledges to open up financial services, strengthen intellectual property rights protection, and improve the investment climate in order to attract more foreign investment. "In one way or another, they can help us to deter any threat", Bautista said, adding that the American military presence helps secure vulnerable Philippine waters.

Jia declined to comment on Trump's decision not to attend the summit, which would have marked the USA president's first visit to Latin America since taking office last year, but mentioned Chinese president Xi has visited Latin America three times in the past four years.

Xi did not directly mention the trade dispute with the USA and did not say anything that is likely to escalate trade tension with the US, which is probably why markets reacted well.

In March, China established a host of new agencies such as the State Administration for Market Regulation as part of a major readjustment of government institutions.

But Vice Commerce Minister Qian Keming said at the forum on Tuesday that China's economic reforms were driven by domestic factors and not due to external pressures.

"Pres. Xi to visit PH this November after APEC in PNG", Harry Roque said in a statement released Wednesday. To him, the fact that China ships about $30 billion worth of products more into the USA than it buys is a sign that the playing field is tilted, with jobs and other benefits flowing toward Beijing.

Separately Tuesday, Australia and New Zealand warned China against building any military base in the South Pacific, after news agencies reported that the Chinese have proposed a permanent stronghold in Vanuatu. Beijing denies this charge.

How Trump's tariffs could aim for China but hurt USA allies more.

"If during the course of the negotiation they want to hit the farmers because they think that hits me".

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