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China Accuses US of Economic Intimidation as Donald Trump's Latest Round of Tariffs Go Into Effect

Trump accuses China of indulging in unfair trade practices and has been demanding that Beijing should drastically reduce over USD 335.4 billion deficit in bilateral trade.


Updated:September 24, 2018, 4:39 PM IST
China Accuses US of Economic Intimidation as Donald Trump's Latest Round of Tariffs Go Into Effect
File photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Image: Reuters)

Beijing: China on Monday accused the US of economic intimidation as President Donald Trump's latest round of tariffs on USD 200 billion of Chinese imports came into effect, escalating the trade war between the two top economies of the world.

Trump accuses China of indulging in unfair trade practices and has been demanding that Beijing should drastically reduce over USD 335.4 billion deficit in bilateral trade.

Trump had announced on September 18 that the US will start charging 10 per cent tariffs on USD 200 billion worth of Chinese products from September 24. These tariffs will then rise to 25 per cent on January 1.

In retaliation, China has decided to levy tariffs on about USD 60 billion worth imports from the US on list of 5,207 American goods from honey to industrial chemicals.

A white paper published by China's Cabinet clarified China's stand on the China-US economic and trade tensions was released on Monday.

It blamed Trump's America first policy for the intensifying trade war and stated that the American leader has abandoned the fundamental norms of mutual respect that guide the international relations.

"Trump has trumpeted "America First" policy since taking office in 2017, abandoning the fundamental norms of mutual respect and equal consultation that guide international relations, the white paper said.

"Rather, it has brazenly preached unilateralism, protectionism and economic hegemony, making false accusations against many countries and regions, particularly China, intimidating other countries through economic measures such as imposing tariffs, and attempting to impose its own interests on China through extreme pressure," the white paper said.

The white paper stressed that China has responded from the perspective of the common interests of both parties as well as the world trade order, observing the principle of resolving disputes through dialogue and consultation, and answering the US concerns with the greatest level of patience and good faith.

The Chinese side has been dealing with these differences with an attitude of seeking common ground while shelving divergence, said the white paper.

"It has overcome many difficulties and made enormous efforts to stabilise China-US economic and trade relations by holding rounds of discussions with the US side and proposing practical solutions," it said.

In the white paper, China has accused the US of contradicting its own stand and constantly challenging China.

"As a result, trade and economic friction between the two sides has escalated quickly over a short period of time, causing serious damage to the economic and trade relations which have been developed over the years through the collective work of the two governments and the two peoples, and posing a grave threat to the multilateral trading system and the principle of free trade," it said.

China in the 36,000-Chinese-character white paper comprising of six parts said: "Trade and economic relations between China and the United States are of great significance for the two countries as well as for the stability and development of the world economy."

Describing China as a developing country and the US as developed country, the white paper said the two countries are at different stages of development and have different economic systems, and therefore at some level of trade friction is only natural.

"The key, however, lies in how to enhance mutual trust, promote cooperation, and manage differences," it said.

China in the white paper mentioned the obstacles that the two countries have overcome in the last 40 years to move economic and trade relations forward.

"Each has made tremendous efforts over the past 40 years to overcome all kinds of obstacles and move economic and trade relations forward, which has served as the ballast and propeller of the overall bilateral relationship, it said.

In total, the US has imposed three rounds of tariffs on Chinese products this year, totalling USD 250 billion worth of goods.

It placed 25 per cent tariffs on USD 50 billion worth of imports from China in two separate rounds.

In July, the White House increased charges on USD 34 billion worth of Chinese products.

Then last month, the escalating trade war moved up a gear when the US brought in a 25 per cent tax on a second wave of goods worth USD 16 billion.

In response to the first two rounds of US tariffs, China imposed duties on USD 50 billion of US products, targeting key parts of the president's political base, such as farmers.

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