Beijing Vows to Retaliate if Washington Takes New Steps on Trade

China will respond if the United States takes any new steps on trade, its foreign ministry said on Monday, after President Donald Trump warned he was ready to add tariffs on virtually all Chinese imports into the States, Reuters informed.

Last week, Trump said he was ready to levy additional taxes on practically all Chinese imports, threatening duties on $267 billion of goods over and above planned tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese products.

“If the U.S. side obstinately clings to its course and takes any new tariff measures against China, then the Chinese side will inevitably take countermeasures to resolutely protect our legitimate rights,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said when asked about Trump’s warning.

Washington and Beijing have activated additional tariffs on $50 billion of each other’s goods since July, as trade friction between the world’s two biggest economies worsened, despite several rounds of negotiations.

According to CNBC, the growing U.S.-China trade war may well push the world’s second-largest economy to work toward winning even more global clout.

Eric Fishwick, head of economic research at CLSA, told CNBC that the ongoing trade tussle between Washington and Beijing could actually push China to shore up both its economy and its geopolitical positioning.

“It may well have the perverse reaction of accelerating China’s attempts to move up the supply curve … to become self-sufficient (in) more and more high-tech products. And it will certainly encourage China in its moves to build more and more political and economic spheres of influence,” he told CNBC’s Akiko Fujita at the 2018 CLSA Investors’ Forum in Hong Kong.

He pointed to the country’s mammoth Belt and Road Initiative – an infrastructure and investment program widely seen as an attempt by China to construct a massive, multi-national zone of economic and political influence that has Beijing at its center.

However, according to CNN Money, growth in Chinese exports weakened to just under 10 percent in August, down from more than 12 percent the previous month – a performance which is significantly below China’s average for the year so far.

The situation is likely to worsen in the coming months as the trade war between China and the United States escalates, CNN Money adds.

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