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China blames US for trade dispute

CHINESE shop for toys at the newly opened FAO Schwarz toy store in Beijing. China has issued a report blaming the United States for a trade dispute and says it won't back down on ‘major issues of principle.’ (AP)

CHINESE shop for toys at the newly opened FAO Schwarz toy store in Beijing. China has issued a report blaming the United States for a trade dispute and says it won’t back down on ‘major issues of principle.’ (AP)

BEIJING (AP) – China yesterday issued a report blaming the United States for a trade dispute and said it won’t back down on “major issues of principle,” but offered no clarification about what additional steps it will take to up the ante.

The statement from the Cabinet spokesman’s office said that China has kept its word throughout 11 rounds of talks and will honor its commitments if a trade agreement is reached. It accused the US of backtracking three times over the course of the talks by introducing new tariffs and other conditions beyond what was agreed on.

“But the more the US government is offered, the more it wants,” it said, accusing America’s negotiators of “resorting to intimidation and coercion.”

“A country’s sovereignty and dignity must be respected, and any agreement reached by the two sides must be based on equality and mutual benefit,” it said.

The US has accused China of stealing trade secrets and forced technology transfers. The Trump administration has imposed 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports and is planning to tax the $300 billion in imports that have so far been spared.

It also escalated the stakes this month by putting the Chinese telecom giant Huawei on a blacklist that effectively bars US companies from supplying it with computer chips, software, and other components without government approval.

Beijing responded by imposing tariffs on $60-billion worth of US products, which went into effect Saturday. It also retaliated against the US blacklisting of Huawei by announcing Friday that it will establish its own list of “unreliable entities” consisting of foreign businesses, corporations, and individuals.

Wang Shouwen, vice commerce minister and deputy international trade representative, said China would issue more detailed information on the unreliable entities list soon, but said it was aimed at enterprises that “violated market principles” and cut supplies of components to Chinese businesses for non-commercial reasons.

Such actions affected China’s national security and the public interest, he said.

“So for these practices, those enterprises will be included in our list of unreliable entities,” Wang said, adding that the significance of the list not be “over-interpreted.”

China’s statement that it intends to publish such a list follows additional measures last week that deepened the bite of US sanctions imposed on Chinese electronics giant Huawei in mid-May.

Several leading US-based global technology standards-setting groups announced restrictions on Huawei’s participation in their activities under the US Commerce Department rules, which bar the sale and transfer of US technology to Huawei without government approval.

Wang also repeated suggestions that China could restrict the export of exotic minerals known as rare earths that are widely used in electric cars and mobile phones. The threat to use China’s rich supply of rare earths as leverage in the conflict has contributed to sharp losses in US stocks and sliding long-term bond yields.

 

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