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China says it will fight back if U.S. escalates trade spat

Reuters  |  BEIJING 

By and Yawen Chen

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's said on Thursday trade negotiations with the would be impossible as Washington's attempts at dialogue were not sincere, and vowed to retaliate should U.S. escalate current tensions.

on Tuesday vowed to open China's economy further and lower import duties on goods such as cars, which had boosted hopes for a compromise. Trump responded in a tweet saying he was "thankful" for Xi's remarks on tariffs and access for U.S. automakers, and said both countries would "make great progress together".

told reporters during a regular briefing, however, that Xi's remarks had nothing to do with the trade row and should not be mischaracterised as a concession to

"I hope some people in the U.S do not misjudge the situation," he said. "If the takes any action to escalate the situation, will not hesitate to fight back."

The world's two largest economies have threatened each other with tens of billions of dollars' worth of tariffs in recent weeks, leading to worries that and Beijing may engage in a full-scale trade war that could damage global growth and roil markets.

Some U.S. officials and analysts have said they believe the dispute could eventually be resolved via dialogue, but Beijing reiterated on Thursday that no formal talks have taken place.

"It is not a matter of whether is willing to participate in the negotiations. It is about the U.S. not showing sincerity at all," Gao said.

China's tabloid wrote in a commentary that can either respond sincerely to China's determination of opening up and launching goodwill interactions or keep pressuring with unreasonable demands and escalate trade frictions.

accuses Chinese firms of stealing the trade secrets of U.S. companies and forcing them into joint ventures to acquire their technology - the crux of Trump's current tariff threats against Beijing denies this charge.

Trump on Monday also criticised for maintaining 25 percent import tariffs on autos compared to 2.5 percent duties of the U.S., calling the relationship not free trade but "stupid trade." But Gao said WTO rules do not require equal tariffs and demand for such parity is unreasonable.

He said will continue opening its markets based on its own plans and implement lower tariffs pledged by Xi as soon as possible.

(Reporting by and Yawen Chen; Writing by Ryan Woo; Editing by and Sam Holmes)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 12 2018. 15:56 IST
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