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China again advises US to abandon protectionism

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A worker stands in a steel workshop in Zouping, in China’s eastern Shandong Province, March 10, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

China has yet again called on the United States to abandon the policy of protectionism in trade and pursue dialog instead.

Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng, who made the remarks at a press conference in the capital, Beijing, on Thursday, also once again stressed that Beijing was ready for any scenario.

“We have noted related comments from the US side. What I wish to stress is that China resolutely opposes all forms of unilateralism and protectionism,” Gao said, adding that if the “wrong actions” taken by the US were left unchecked, the authority of the world’s multilateral trade system would be harmed.

“Over the years, Chinese enterprises have made important contributions to increasing domestic employment in the US and boosting the US economic development,” he reminded America.

The comments were made in response to an earlier report by Washington that it was considering using an emergency law to impose new restrictions on Beijing and curb its acquisitions of sensitive technologies.

“We hope the US side should do more things that go with the law of economic development and conform to the trend of world economic development, which will be truly conducive to the long-term stable development of itself and the global economy,” Gao said.

“As for the comments from the US side, China will not only listen to what they say but also observe what they do. In the manner of bottom-line thinking, we have made full preparation for the worst,” the Chinese official said.

Various Chinese officials have one after another warned the US against a trade war but also expressed readiness, stressing a policy of reciprocation vis-à-vis American trade measures against China.

Official data show that China’s economy grew 6.8 percent in the first quarter of 2018, defying forecasts that the trade frictions with the US would have adverse impacts on its economy.

The trade war began in earnest last month, when US President Donald Trump announced Washington would levy up to $60 billion in tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from a number of countries, including China.

China initially cautioned against such an economic war but — faced with US intransigence — went on to retaliate the measures. Tit-for-tat threats and measures continue to this day.

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