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China feelers on trade war

Beijing wants joint stand against Trump's protection

  • Published 11.10.18, 1:44 AM
  • Updated 11.10.18, 2:43 AM
  • a min read
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Export container at Shanghai Source: Shutterstock

China on Wednesday urged India to work with Beijing to fight the trade protectionism being pursued by the Donald Trump regime, frowning on the US designs in the Indo-Pacific region.

“As the two largest developing countries and major emerging markets, China and India are both in the vital stage of deepening reforms and developing the economy, and both need a stable external environment,” Chinese embassy spokesperson Ji Rong said in response to queries from the media on US-China relations in the wake of tensions over trade.

In their quest for global influence, the US and China have in recent months imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on each other. The whole process has been triggered by Trump in keeping with his election promise of making trade fairer for America. This year itself, he has imposed three rounds of tariffs on Chinese goods.

Seeking to get India in its corner soon after New Delhi followed Beijing in risking sanctions by signing up for buying S-400 surface-to-air missiles from Russia, Counsellor Ji said: “Practicing unilateral trade protectionism in the name of ‘national security’ and ‘fair trade’ will not only affect China’s economic development, but also undermine the external environment of India and hinder India’s booming economy.”

The two neighbours, the Counsellor said, share common interests in defending the multilateral trading system and free trade.

Accusing Washington of provoking trade disputes, China sought to explain its response with retaliatory tariffs as “legitimate self-defence”, urging the US to reflect on its own practice of interfering in the internal affairs of developing countries such as China and India.

Ji also made it amply clear that China was against the “so-called Indo-Pacific” policy of the US. “What we are firmly against is attempts to use the so-called Indo-Pacific strategy as a tool to counter China.”