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Nation ready for heavier trade friction

By Zhong Nan and Ren Xiaojin | China Daily | Updated: 2018-04-13 09:14
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An US cargo ship is seen at the Yangshan Deep-Water Port, an automated cargo wharf, in Shanghai on April 9, 2018. [Photo/VCG]

China is prepared and will not hesitate to fight "till the very end" if the United States insists on unilateralism and protectionism, the Commerce Ministry said on Thursday.

Government officials from the two countries have not engaged in any negotiations concerning the trade friction, said Gao Feng, Commerce Ministry spokesman.

"There are procedures to follow for negotiations to get started. But the US side has not shown any sincere will to negotiate yet," Gao said.

"China is well prepared for further actions taken by the US and will resolutely fight back if the US insists on unilateralism," Gao added.

Gao also said the country's continued opening-up measures announced this week have nothing to do with the trade friction with the US.

"I hope some people in the US do not misjudge the situation," Gao said.

Such major strategic decisions are made based on an accurate estimate of the country's current development level in order to elevate opening up in the new era to a higher level, Gao said.

"No one has the right to say why China does anything. The opening-up strategy came naturally during the development, and I don't think China is doing so to deal with the trade war. The motivation is for better development," said Bhattacharya Amar, a senior researcher at the Brookings Institution, a US think tank.

"China is facilitating global trade through the Belt and Road Initiative. What we have seen in the trade frictions between China and the US is a negative side where people say global trade causes problems. You need certain rules to the game so that both sides of trade feel they benefit," he said.

The trade unilateralism and protectionism employed by the administration of US President Donald Trump will push more countries to unite and protect the World Trade Organization's rule-based multilateral trading system, said Tu Xinquan, director of the China Institute for WTO Studies at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.

The US policies have led to negative impacts for all parties, especially to manufacturing powerhouses like China, Germany, the Republic of Korea and India, Tu said.

The Commerce Ministry also said that China will complete a revision of the negative list for foreign investment in the first half of this year. Areas not on the negative list are presumed to be open to foreign investors.

The country also will open industries including financial, services and manufacturing even wider to foreign investors and lower tariffs to increase imports as it helps facilitate the market entry of companies under all types of ownership so they can to compete at the same level, Gao said.

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