China on Sunday accused the US of using “extreme pressure” to force Beijing to reach a deal to end the trade war and asserted that while it wants resolution through talks there will be no compromise on its principles.
Stepping up the rhetoric against the US, China on Sunday released a detailed White Paper titled ‘China’s Position on the China-US Economic and Trade Consultation’ outlining the long drawn out process of 11 rounds of negotiations held since last year to end the tariff war.
The Chinese government in the paper said the US tariff measures have not boosted American economic growth. Instead, they have done “serious harm” to the US economy.
Rebutting Mr. Trump’s accusations that China went back on agreements reached during the talks, Wang Shouwen, vice-minister of commerce who released the White Paper, said the US is putting some compulsory requirements impinging on China’s sovereignty with a rider that some tariff will remain even after the deal.
The US is making compulsory requirements impinging on China sovereignty to be included in the agreement, he said in apparent reference to Washington demanding access to verify the implementation of the deal, especially on Beijing’s assurance to protect the IPR and technology transfers.
Without directly naming President Donald Trump, Mr. Wang said they also increased tariffs in order to exhort pressure on China leading to severe setback of the negotiations.”
If one doesn’t respect other side’s sovereignty and core interests and tries to force the other side to compromise by pressuring to yield lopsided results, such negotiations cannot succeed,” he said.
If the US wants to use extreme pressure and all kinds of ways to escalate trade frictions to force China to capitulate, this is impossible,” he said.
The White Paper was released a day after China hit $ 60 billion worth of US goods with new punitive tariffs ranging from five to 25 %, in retaliation to the US raising punitive tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.
In May, after the Sino-US trade talks in Washington ended without a deal, the Trump administration imposed additional tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods to 25 % from 10 %.
Mr. Trump launched the trade war last year demanding that China reduce the massive trade deficit, which in 2018 increased to over $ 539 billion. He is also pressing for verifiable measures for protection of intellectual property rights, technology transfer and more access to American goods into Chinese markets.
Mr. Wang declined to specify whether there would be a meeting between Mr. Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 meeting later this month in Japan or when the 12th round of trade talks would take place.
He also hinted at China blocking rare earth metals exports to US. China has the biggest deposits of rare earth metals, he said.
The metals are key component for host of advanced technologies like iPhones and hi-tech missile guidance systems.
If some countries use the metals produce products to contain China’s development this is unacceptable to both minds and hearts,” he said.
“As for China-US talks, economic trade should be based on mutual respect and [both parties] should pull on the same direction,” he said.
The White Paper 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.
It said China and the US agreed on most parts of the deal. But the consultations have not been free of setbacks, each of them being the result of a US breach of consensus and commitments, and backtracking,” it said.
Resorting to intimidation and coercion, it (US persisted with exorbitant demands, maintained the additional tariffs imposed since the friction began, and insisted on including mandatory requirements concerning China’s sovereign affairs in the deal, which only served to delay the resolution of remaining differences,” the White Paper said.
Despite the tensions, it said China is willing to work together with the US to find solutions and to reach a mutually beneficial and win-win agreement.
“However, cooperation has to be based on principles. There are bottomlines in consultations. China will not compromise on major issues of principle. China does not want a trade war, but it is not afraid of one and it will fight one if necessary. China’s position on this has never changed,” the white paper said.
On the bilateral trade front, it said last year trade in goods and services exceeded $750 billion, and two-way direct investment approached $160 billion.
“China is the key export market for US airplanes, soybeans, automobiles, integrated circuits and cotton. During the ten years from 2009 to 2018, China was one of the fastest growing export markets for American goods, with an annual average increase of 6.3 % and an aggregate growth of 73.2 %, higher than the average growth of 56.9 % represented by other regions in the world,” the paper said.
Trade friction between world’s two largest economies are provoked by the US are damaging the interests of both countries and of the wider world, it said.
“Trumpeting ‘America First’, the current US administration has adopted a series of unilateral and protectionist measures, regularly wielded tariffs as a “big stick” and coerced other countries into acceng its demands,” it said apparently referring to US trade measures against various countries including India.