China: Trade war with United States would be disastrous


Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan speaks during a National People's Congress press conference in Beijing on March 11, 2018.

A trade war between China and the United States would be disastrous not only for the two countries involved, but also the rest of the world, Beijing warned on Sunday.

It was Beijing's latest statement on "problems in Sino-U.S. economic trade and cooperation", alluding to President Donald Trump's plan to impose heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

China's trade minister Zhong Shan said that the United States trade deficit with China is overestimated by about 20%, citing research by a panel tasked with investigating the discrepancy between the two nations' accounts of their trade balance.

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China would like to solve differences via cooperation and seek win-win outcomes to benefit the two countries and help stabilize global economy, he added.

"There will be no victor", Commerce Minister Zhong Shan told a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing session of the National People's Congress.

China can handle any challenges and will resolutely protect its interests, but the two countries will continue to talk, he said.

Trade imbalance between the two countries is structural, with China exporting more commodities to the Unites States while importing more services, Zhong said, adding that trade competitiveness is determined by industries. Of those imports, South Korea, Japan, China and India accounted for 6.6 million tonnes.

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Zhong pointed out that different statistical methods widen USA trade deficit with China by around 20 percent, citing the research of a joint work group tracking and comparing the two countries' trade figures.

China's persistently high trade surplus with the U.S. is the root of the tension, and Trump has said he plans to trim it by US$100 billion.

China does not want to enter in a war with the United States of America, as it would have devastating consequences for world's economy.

Diplomatic and U.S. business sources say the United States has frozen a formal mechanism for talks on commercial disputes with China because it is not satisfied Beijing has met its promises to ease market restrictions.

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