Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 22 September 2019

China seeks to lower tensions as its top trade negotiator calls for 'calm' on trade row

Both the US and China have escalated trade war with tit-for-tat tariffs in recent weeks

China is calling for calm amid rising trade tensions with the US. AP 
China is calling for calm amid rising trade tensions with the US. AP 

China’s top trade negotiator sought to lower tensions with the US on Monday, saying the dispute between the world’s biggest economies should be resolved through measured dialogue.

“We are willing to solve the problem through consultation and cooperation with a calm attitude,” Vice Premier Liu He said at the opening ceremony of 2019 Smart China Expo in Chongqing, Caixin reported on Monday.

“We firmly oppose the escalation of the trade war,” he said, adding that it “is not conducive to China, the US and the interests of people all over the world.”

China welcomes all foreign investors, including those from the US, Mr Liu said, adding that policy makers will keep building a favorable environment and protecting property rights. He stressed that China has ample macro-policy tools to ensure the country’s economic fundamentals have “good momentum.”

The S&P 500 futures stabilised after Mr Liu’s comments and a stronger-than-anticipated yuan fixing suggested that traders don’t need to worry about an immediate counter-punch from China after a tumultuous weekend. China on Friday threatened to impose more tariffs on $75 billion (Dh275.4bn) of American goods, prompting President Donald Trump to announce even higher tariffs on Chinese goods and call for American companies to pull out of Asia’s largest economy.

Mr Liu spoke at an event focused on high-tech industries such as big data, artificial intelligence, semi-conductors and 5G. He said China opposes technology blockades and protectionism, and is trying hard to maintain the completeness of supply chains.

On Friday, Mr Trump said existing 25 per cent tariffs on some $250bn in imports from China would rise to 30 per cent come October 1, the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Planned 10 per cent tariffs on a further $300bn in Chinese goods will be taxed at 15 per cent instead of 10 per cent, starting with the first tranche on September 1.

China will follow through with retaliatory measures announced Friday and fight the trade war to the end, after the US failed to keep its promises, the Communist Party flagship newspaper People’s Daily wrote in a Saturday editorial. Later, the editor-in-chief of the Global Times, Hu Xijin, said on Twitter that the US is “starting to lose China.”

Updated: August 26, 2019 09:44 AM

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