Trade War Casts Shadow on Sino-us Re­la­tions

NewsChina - - CULTURE -

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump signed a mem­o­ran­dum that would im­pose heavy du­ties on Chi­nese im­ports on March 22, trig­ger­ing wide spec­u­la­tion that China and the US will slide into an in­evitable trade war.

The newly signed mem­o­ran­dum, if fi­nally passed by the US Congress, will im­pose du­ties on Chi­nese im­ports to the value of US$60 bil­lion and will work out a pro­gram on re­strict­ing Chi­nese in­vest­ment in Amer­i­can en­ter­prises. Global stock mar­kets slumped on the back on the news.

China is­sued a tough re­sponse. “We do not want to have a trade war with the United States or with any­body else, but we are not afraid of it. If some­body tries to im­pose a trade war on us, we will fight...” said Chi­nese Am­bas­sador to the US Cui Tiankai in an in­ter­view with China Global Tele­vi­sion Net­work (CGTN).

Ac­cord­ing to Trump, one of the ma­jor rea­sons that he signed the mem­o­ran­dum is that China has vi­o­lated US in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights, an ac­cu­sa­tion Cui said was “ground­less” and “dis­crim­i­nat­ing.” “If a trade war was ini­ti­ated by the US, China would fight to the end to de­fend its own le­git­i­mate in­ter­ests with all nec­es­sary mea­sures,” said a state­ment re­leased on the website of China's Em­bassy in the US on March 23.

In early March, Liu He made an of­fi­cial visit to the US as di­rec­tor of Gen­eral Of­fice of China's Cen­tral Lead­ing Group for Fi­nan­cial and Eco­nomic Af­fairs. Liu talked with Trump's eco­nomic team about trade bal­ance and mar­ket ac­cess. How­ever, as an­a­lysts just be­gan to be­lieve that bi­lat­eral dia­logue would greatly re­duce the pos­si­bil­ity of a trade war, Trump signed an or­der im­pos­ing 25 per­cent and 10 per­cent du­ties on im­ported steel and alu­minum. The or­der sparked big dis­putes in the White House and was heav­ily op­posed by many trade groups and other coun­tries.

On the morn­ing of March 23, China's Min­istry of Com­merce pub­lished on its website a list of Amer­i­can im­ports, the value of which was re­ported to be US$3 bil­lion, on which they plan to halt tar­iff con­ces­sions. The min­istry claimed that if China and the US fail to reach a trade com­pen­satory agree­ment, the list will take ef­fect.

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