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China Lashes Out At ‘Global Economic Disruptor’ Trump As Trade War Escalates

REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter

Chinese state media slammed President Donald Trump as Beijing returned fire in an escalating trade war between China and the U.S.

“China, a responsible and reliable major trading nation, hates to be engaged in a trade war with the United States, knowing that it would be a lose-lose game for both,” the state-run Xinhua News Agency argued in an editorial Saturday. “But this does not mean that Beijing is going to sit quietly in the face of Washington’s planned unilateral tariffs. China has to fight back forcefully so as to safeguard the interests of the nation and its people.”

Trump, following through on a plan first announced in March, imposed Friday a 25 percent tariff on Chinese goods worth around $50 billion. As it said it would, China responded swiftly. The Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council decided to impose duties of 25 percent on 659 American products with an estimated worth of roughly $50 billion. (RELATED: Trump Escalates Trade War With Tough Tariffs On $50 Billion In Chinese Goods)

Tariffs on $34 billion in U.S. goods will go into effect in early July. The other trade tariffs will be imposed at an unspecified later date.

The latest exchange is part of an ongoing trade spat that begin with the punitive U.S. tariffs on foreign-made steel and aluminum, trade penalties that led Beijing to retaliate with its own tariffs.

Trade representatives from Washington and Beijing have been negotiating for weeks, and while there has been positive progress, the issues at the heart of this trade war, matters such as the growing trade deficit and intellectual property theft, have yet to be resolved.

Chinese state media has been deeply critical of the president and his decisions on trade since he unveiled his plans to impose punitive trade penalties on China.

“The wise man builds bridges, the fool builds walls,” Xinhua said in a separate editorial, with the Communist Party-run People’s Daily calling Trump’s actions part of his “obsession with playing the disgraceful role of global economic disruptor.”

“There is no winner in a trade war, and the U.S. instigation of a trade war is extremely destructive to global trade, economic globalization, multilateral trade systems, and global production supply chains,” the People’s Daily further argued, adding, “The whole world will be picking up the bill for the mistaken acts of U.S. unilateralism.”

The Global Times, a nationalist tabloid affiliated with the People’s Daily, called the Trump administration’s tariffs “an irresponsible act on behalf of the White House to disrupt international trade just to appeal to American voters who are convinced their president is fighting for them.” The China Daily asserted the president’s moves constituted a “stark violation” of recent negotiations.

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