US ‘a thief crying ‘stop, thief!’’: MOFCOM

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/7/12 20:28:40

China to expand in foreign markets amid trade tensions


A trade war started by the US will bring further challenges to Sino-US economic and trade ties, and China will try to increase diversity of foreign trade in the global market, a Chinese trade official said Thursday.

"China does not want a trade war and does not fear one, but will fight back if necessary," Gao Feng, spokesperson of the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), said at a regular press conference in Beijing.

The comment came after the US government on Tuesday night announced a list of $200 billion worth of imported Chinese products to be slapped with 10 percent tariffs, escalating the current trade tensions between the two nations.

Gao said that China has not been in touch with the US about restarting trade negotiations.

A trade war started by the US will impose challenges on economic and trade cooperation between the two countries and the impact will be realized later this year, Gao said, adding that "China will increase diversity of foreign trade and expand other third-party markets across the globe."

To help Chinese enterprises deal with impacts from the trade tensions, the Chinese government will evaluate to what extent they are affected, encourage domestic firms to adjust their import structures accordingly, expand in other foreign markets and explore domestic consumption potential, according to Gao.

A trade war started by the US will largely hit the global economy and will also bring instability to world industrial chains and loss to other countries, according to the spokesperson. China has to defend the legitimate rights and interests of its people and will also firmly defend free trade and the global multilateral trading system, Gao said.

According to a statement released by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Section 301 Action on Tuesday, the US said China's retaliation of imposing tariffs on $34 billion worth of American exports is "without any international legal basis or justification."

Such accusation makes the US sound like "a thief crying 'stop, thief!'" because the US was the first to violate WTO rules and impose tariffs on China based on its own national laws and regulations, behavior usually defined as unilateralism and protectionism, Gao noted.

China retaliated as it has to defend the legitimate rights and interests of its people and defend free trade and the global multilateral trading system, which complies with global laws and rules, the spokesperson said. He added that it is the US that overrides the international legal basis.

Posted in: ECONOMY

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