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China Vows to Resist U.S. Trade Probe by ‘All Means Necessary’

China is fighting back against the investigation of its trade practices by President Trump’s administration, blasting the U.S. for “protectionism” and vowing to use “all means necessary” to defend the interests of its country and companies.

“We are strongly discontented with this unilateralism and protectionism, and will take all means necessary to resolutely defend the legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese side and Chinese enterprises,” trade ministry spokesman Gao Feng said at a news conference Thursday, according to the Washington Post.

China has been pushing back against the U.S. this week after the Trump administration said it would launch an investigation of Chinese theft of intellectual property. That investigation could lead to trade sanctions against China.

On Monday, the Chinese Commerce Ministry said the trade investigation was “irresponsible” and claimed it ignored the rules of the World Trade Organization.

The U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions Tuesday on ten companies and six people from China and Russia for allegedly conducting business with North Korea in ways that helped the country’s nuclear weapons strategy. China responded by demanding that the U.S. immediately withdraw the sanctions. The Global Times, backed by the Chinese Communist Party, said the U.S. will “pay for the unjust ban on Chinese firms” and accused the U.S. of violating international law. The U.S. actions, the Global Times said, were an attempt to “tarnish the international image of China.”

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