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China-US trade clash 'inevitable', researcher warns

By AN BAIJIE | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2016-12-20 19:45

Conflict over trade is highly likely to break out between China and the United States next year after Donald Trump takes office, a senior researcher has predicted.

Ruan Zongze, vice-president of the think tank China Institute of International Studies, said on Tuesday, that given Trump's provocative remarks on trade concerning China, it was "inevitable" that the two countries would clash once the president-elect takes power on January 20.

"As the countering side, China is unwilling to launch a trade war; however, if anyone wants to start a trade war, China will definitely fight in the end," he told reporters in Beijing at an event organized by the All-China Journalists Association.

He said it was impossible to imagine China and America having all-out conflicts and confrontations because, as the world's top two economies, neither side could afford the consequences.

Trump has labeled China a "currency manipulator" and has pledged to impose a 45 percent tariff on Chinese exports to the US.

Vice-Minister of Finance Zhu Guangyao said on Saturday that China hoped there would be no trade war with the United States, as it would harm, not only the interests of the world's two biggest economies, but the interests of the whole world.

But Zhu also said that while it sticks to "non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win" bilateral trade principles, Beijing will steadfastly safeguard its core interests, such as sovereignty.

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