US-China tariff war: Beijing accuses Trump administration of 'blackmailing'
Beijing, Jun 19: China today accused the US of "blackmailing" by threatening to slap additional tariffs on USD 200 billion of Chinese goods and warned that it would hit back with comprehensive measures if Washington went ahead with the plan.
China's response came after US President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on an additional USD 200 billion worth of Chinese goods, days after slapping USD 50 billion tariffs on Chinese imports to the US. In tit-for-tat retaliation last week, the Chinese government decided to impose additional duties of 25 per cent on 659 items of US products worth about USD 50 billion.
The moves and counter moves on tariffs came as the two countries held several rounds of talks following Trump's demand to slash bilateral trade deficit by USD 100 billion in a month followed by USD 200 billion to address the USD 375 billion deficit.
Responding to Trump's latest threat, a spokesperson of China's Ministry of Commerce said that if the US loses its rationality and unveils another list of Chinese products for additional tariffs, China will have no choice but to take comprehensive measures combining quantitative and qualitative ones to resolutely strike back. After unveiling plans to impose additional tariffs on Chinese goods worth around USD 50 billion, the United States went even further by threatening to identify USD 200 billion worth of Chinese products for additional tariffs, the spokesperson said.
"Such practice of imposing extreme pressure and blackmailing is contrary to the consensus the two sides have reached through rounds of consultations, and disappoints the international community," the spokesperson said.
"The trade war waged by the United States is against both the law of the market and the development trend of today' s world. It undermines the interests of the Chinese and American people, the interests of companies and the interests of the people all over the world," state-run Xinhua news agency quoted the spokesperson as saying.
The response taken by China aims to safeguard and defend not only the interests of the Chinese nation and the people, but also free trade regime and the common interests of mankind, said the spokesperson.
"No matter how external environment changes, China will follow its established rhythm, stick to the vision of making development people-centered, resolutely advance reform and opening up, resolutely promote high-quality economic development, and accelerate the development of a modern economy," the spokesperson said.