China Says No to More Trade Talks Until U.S. Corrects ‘Wrong Actions’

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 14: Nina Sun stands beside a unicorn lantern and a Chinese dragon during the launch of the Chinese New Year Edinburgh festival on January 14, 2019 in Edinburgh, Scotland. A full programme to celebrate Chinese New Year will take place in from 2 to 17 February, …
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JOHN CARNEY

China blamed the U.S. Thursday for the breakdown in trade negotiations and said talks would not resume until the U.S. reversed its “wrong actions.”

“China’s stance on the talks has been clear,” Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng.  If the U.S. wants to resume talks, they should show sincerity and correct their wrong actions.”

President Donald Trump unexpectedly announced in early May that the U.S. would raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent. Administration officials have said the hike came after Chinese trade negotiators attempted to renegotiate terms of the trade agreement. Chinese officials also wanted the terms of the agreement to remain confidential, saying publicly releasing them would insult their national honor.

President Trump has also said that tariffs on an additional $300 billion of Chinese goods might also go up if an agreement is not reached. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has filed the official paperwork to raise the tariffs, which could happen next month.

China’s comments Thursday indicate that it has no intention of making concessions to restart talks. Chinese state media have grown increasingly belligerent this week. The Communist Party-controlled Global Times described the Trump administration as “a group of economic fascists.”

“The U.S. unilaterally escalated trade tensions, and has taken many actions which seriously hurts the China-U.S. trade talks,” Goa said.

Initially, the tariff hike seemed to have caught China off-guard and its reaction was muted. But China’s anti-American position appears to have solidified after the U.S. also announced that it was putting economic sanctions on Huawei, China’s telecom giant.

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