China says no to United States trade war, but vows to defend interests

Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan attends a news conference on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress in Beijing

He said that would only bring disaster to China and the United States and the rest of the world. He gave no details on how this figure was reached, but the US and Chinese governments generally report widely differing trade figures because Beijing counts only the first port to which goods go instead of their final destination. "However, we are capable of handling any challenge, and we resolutely defend the interest of the country and the people".

"There are no winners in a trade war", Mr Zhong said.

This could be further cut by 35 per cent if the U.S. lifts the ban on high-tech exports to China, he added.

China's trade surplus with the United States grew 13 percent year on year to 1.87 trillion yuan last year, official data showed.

Trade tensions between the world's two biggest economies intensified last week as President Donald J. Trump signed orders for stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum and indicated more actions are potentially on the way.

The CIIE is one of four major global events to be hosted by China this year, along with the Boao Forum for Asia annual conference in April, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in June and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation summit in September.

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As China's exports surged in February its monthly surplus with the United States widened from a year earlier to $20.96 billion, according to data from the customs bureau.

Should the situation worsen, however, Zhong said that China was more than ready. -China trade deficit by $100 billion.

"We are not only talking for now, we will continue to talk in the future", he said.

Canada, Mexico and Australia have secured exemptions from the tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum announced by Trump, though Canada's and Mexico's were conditioned on progress renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Zhong also said he plans to meet with Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko to discuss trade and investment issues.

In response to that, China expressed "opposition" to the tariffs imposed by the United States on the imports of steel and aluminum, saying the move will undermine normal global trade order.

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