Smog in northern Chinese region rises 27% in March

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According to a study conducted by Purdue University, soybean exports to China could drop dramatically if China chooses to impose a 25 percent tariff on USA soybeans.

On Tuesday, Beijing defended its construction of what it called defensive facilities in the disputed South China Sea, calling the deployments "natural rights of sovereign states" and not directed at any specific country, according to a Defense Ministry spokesman. Its surplus with the U.S. rose 19.4 percent on-year to $58 billion in January-March, with exports up 14.8 percent and imports 8.9 percent higher.

For the first quarter as a whole, China's exports grew a hearty 14.1 percent from a year earlier. But there's considerably better news for the rest of us - Chinese imports also surged and by the end of the first quarter its trade deficit with the rest of the world stood at $9.86bn.

China's increasing trade surplus with the United States has been at the heart of trade frictions in recent weeks between the world's two largest economies.

More broadly, should the retaliatory trade moves escalate, and the U.S. slap tariffs on more mainstream goods like household appliances, consumer electronics or toys, the repercussions would be substantially higher. "We hope trade relations can return to the track of healthy and stable development".

China on Wednesday warned the USA against playing the "Taiwan card", by using support for the self-ruled island to gain leverage in trade and economic disputes between the world's two biggest economies.

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The dispute "creates uncertainty and confusion for the business community", he told AFP, noting that some firms could be hit by a "double whammy" of higher costs for inputs from China, and higher prices for the goods they export to the country.

Trump said higher duties on $50 billion of Chinese goods are meant to punish Beijing for stealing or pressuring foreign companies to hand over foreign technology.

But China's commerce ministry later reiterated that no negotiations were underway between the two capitals as Washington had not shown enough "sincerity".

Politics are another part of the story, the report of Sacramento Bee mentioned since neither California nor Washington voted for Trump in the electoral college and the two states both clashed with the White House on a number of contested policies, such as immigration and environmental regulations.

The US buys about 20 percent of China's exports.

The navy began three days of exercises off Hainan on Wednesday, but ended them a day early on Thursday, the provincial maritime safety administration said.

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"If you are those without special technology or products, you will die", said Rose Qiu, a director with Zhejiang Fonda Technology, another LED maker.

As a result, the trade surplus came to more than 48 billion dollars, down 26.2 percent year-on-year.

Clad in military fatigues and as determined as ever to modernise the People's Liberation Army, Xi on Friday presided over a large military parade involving the country's only aircraft carrier, the Liaoning.

Each side has slapped tariffs of $3 billion in goods so far, but the U.S. has threatened to impose duties on more products and China has vowed to retaliate.

- Loan demand for the real economy picked up in the first quarter with the index for loan demand rising 5.2 percentage points from last quarter to 70.9 percent.

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