Published: Mon, March 13, 2017
Research | By Jennifer Evans

China tries to tamp down USA trade tensions

China tries to tamp down USA trade tensions

This was China's second warning against a possible trade war this week amid growing indications that Washington is determined to pursue a protectionist agenda.

China's Commerce Minister Zhong Shan told this to reporters on the sidelines of the Parliament session in Beijing amid concerns that Trump may hike tariffs against Chinese goods.

Analysts say the threat of deteriorating US-China ties is likely to depress confidence of exporters and investors around the world.

"Many American and western friends think that China can't live without the USA, and they're half right", Zhong told reporters on Saturday in Beijing.

The commerce secretary also commented that he was looking forward to meeting new US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, saying that as an "experienced negotiator", his counterpart must be willing to "play the long game and think strategically".

Zhong noted that China and the United States are mutually reliant and very important to each other.

"He (President Duterte) is very pleased about the state of China-Philippines relation especially commercial cooperation between the two countries and it is full of expectation", Zhong said.

In 2016, the volume of commodity trade between China and the U.S. reached $519.6 billion - 207 times higher than in 1979 when bilateral diplomatic relations were established.

China is now concerned whether Trump would also act on his poll promise of raising 45 per cent tariffs against Chinese goods and declare Beijing as a currency manipulator.

China's exports for January and February combined rose 4 percent from the same period past year, while imports surged more than 26 percent, suggesting solid improvement in demand domestically and overseas. He said fluctuations in foreign direct investment into China in individual months would not determine the outlook for the whole year.

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