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Protectionism 'dealing severe blow' to trade: China

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)
China's President Xi Jinping addresses delegates at a Business Forum organized during the 10th BRICS (acronym for the grouping of the world's leading emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit on July 25, 2018, at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by AFP)

China's President Xi Jinping on Wednesday warned that growing protectionism was damaging trade and that the world had to choose "between cooperation and confrontation" as the threat of a US-led trade war looms.

"Unilateralism and protectionism are mounting, dealing a severe blow to multilateralism and the multilateral trading regime," Xi told the opening of the BRICS summit in Johannesburg. "We are facing a choice between cooperation and confrontation."

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang also said that there was "no winner in a trade war" and warned the United States not to go down the wrong path any further.

The spokesman made the statement at a regular news briefing when commenting on the Trump administration's announcement of providing up to 12 billion US dollars in aid to US farmers impacted by ongoing trade disputes and the reaction of US lawmakers and farmers, who are critical of the plan, saying that farmers wanted more trade rather than subsidies.

"There is no winner in a trade war. We have said it many times before. The trade disputes provoked stubbornly by the United States will achieve nothing but detriment for everyone," Geng said.

He urged the United States to "heed the voice of reason at home and the universal appeal by the international community, see the situation clearly, weigh the advantages and disadvantages and not to go down the wrong path any further."

(Source: AFP)


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