China Does Not Wish a Trade War with the US
By Mei Manuel, March 16, 2017 00:03 AM
On Wednesday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said that Beijing does not want to see a trade war with the United States and called for talks between both countries to negotiate in reaching an accord.
In his statement after the end of the annual meeting of parliament, Li said, "We do not want to see any trade war breaking out between the two countries. That would not make our trade fairer."
"Our hope on the Chinese side is that no matter what bumps this relationship hits, we hope it will continue to move forward in a positive direction," he said.
"We may have different statistical methods, but I believe whatever differences we may have we can all sit down and talk to each other and work together to find solutions," Li further adds.
If there are issues that cannot be solved immediately, Li said that it should not be discussed for the time being.
There have been reports in the US saying that both US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will be meeting in Florida next month.
Since he campaigned for the presidency, Trump has been attacking China on several issues: from trade to the South China Sea and North Korea. Trump had also threatened to call China a currency manipulator and impose huge tariffs on imports from China. He hasn't done any one of these threats, but the US Treasury is expected to make its semi-annual currency report this April.
China's trade surplus against the United States was $366 billion in 2015.
Trump has already met with Chinese top diplomat Yang Jiechi last month to discuss shared security interests and the potential meeting with President Xi and Trump.
Li also reiterated in his remarks that China-U.S. relations are founded upon adherence to the "one China" policy, under which Washington - under Trump - acknowledges the Chinese position that there is only one China, of which Taiwan is a part. Trump had earlier angered China in December when he spoke to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and even suggested he may abandon "one China" policy to get a better trade deal in China.
The "one China" policy "has remained unshaken despite changing circumstances," he said, adding "this foundation cannot be undermined."
Li also said China did not seek a sustained trade surplus with the European Union, and that the imbalance "would clearly improve" if Europe exported more high-tech products to China.
Both the US and the EU had been controlling exports against China for several products which can be used for military and civilian uses. China has been asking for access to high-tech components to improve its manufacturing industries. However, foreign businesses had raised concerns regarding intellectual property rights and called for market access in exchange for these exchanges.
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