No Deadline To End Trade War – China

Tense Future For US-China Ties, With Or Without Trade Deal
This file picture taken on November 6, 2018 shows a Chinese and US flag at a booth during the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai. JOHANNES EISELE / AFP

 

China echoed comments from President Donald Trump Wednesday, saying there was no deadline for signing a US-China trade deal, as tensions spiked between the two countries over human rights issues.

On Tuesday, Trump warned that efforts to resolve the spat between the world’s top two economies could continue until after next November’s US election, triggering a selloff in global markets.

When asked about his comments China’s foreign ministry said Beijing too had no timeline for ending the protracted trade war, where on-again off-again negotiations have destabilised markets and stoked geopolitical tensions.

“We will not set any time limit on when the deal will or will not be reached,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.

“This agreement and these negotiations must be based on equality and mutual respect,” she told reporters at a regular press briefing in Beijing.

“If we are faced with the pressure of unilateralism, protectionism, and trade bullying, we will have no choice and must take resolute and decisive measures to defend our legitimate and lawful interests,” Hua added.

Relations between Washington and Beijing have become increasingly strained following the passage of a bill backing pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong last week.

The financial hub has been rocked by nearly six months of often violent unrest demanding greater autonomy, which Beijing has frequently blamed on foreign influence.

In response to the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, China suspended US warship visits to the territory and said it imposed sanctions on American NGOs, though it has not released any details on what they entail.

On Tuesday, US lawmakers also voted overwhelmingly to pass a Uighur rights bill, which could impose sanctions against senior Chinese officials over the crackdown on mainly Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang if Trump signs it into law.

Up to one million ethnic Uighurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic minorities are believed to be held in re-education camps, according to estimates cited by a United Nations panel in 2018.

After initially denying the camps’ existence, Beijing cast the facilities as “vocational education centres” where “students” learn Mandarin and job skills in an effort to steer them away from religious extremism, terrorism and separatism.

China’s foreign ministry on Wednesday warned against enacting the Uighur rights bill saying “for all wrong actions and words… the proper price must be paid.”

 

AFP

Iran: Beijing Condemns US Sanctions On Chinese Companies

(FILES)(COMBO) This combination of file pictures created on April 4, 2017 shows US President Donald Trump in St. Louis, Missouri on October 9, 2016 and China’s leader Xi Jinping in Beijing on December 5, 2012. Ed Jones, Paul J. RICHARDS / AFP

 

 

Beijing voiced “strong dissatisfaction” on Thursday after the United States announced sanctions on Chinese companies for buying Iranian oil.

China, which is embroiled in a trade war as well as myriad other disputes with Washington, is believed to be the biggest foreign buyer of Iranian oil.

Speaking to a pressure group opposed to the Iranian regime on the sidelines of the United Nations, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday the actions were in response to violations of unilateral US sanctions.

He said sanctions were being placed both on the companies and on their chief executives.

“China expresses strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition to the sanctions imposed by the United States on Chinese enterprises and individuals,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular press briefing on Thursday.

“Despite the legitimate rights and interests of all parties, the United States wielded a wanton stick of sanctions, which is a gross violation of the basic norms of international relations,” Geng said.

 

AFP

US-China Trade War In 10 Dates

Tense Future For US-China Ties, With Or Without Trade Deal
This file picture taken on November 6, 2018 shows a Chinese and US flag at a booth during the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai. PHOTO: JOHANNES EISELE / AFP

 

Here are 10 key dates in the 17-month-long trade battle between the United States and China.

 

March 8, 2018: Tax On Steel, Aluminium

President Donald Trump announces tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminium from a number of countries in a bid to slash the huge US trade deficit.

The deficit reached $566 billion in 2017, of which $375 billion was with China, the world’s biggest steel and aluminium producer.

March 22: China RipostesOn the eve of their application, Trump suspends the tariffs for several countries but not China.

Beijing responds with a list of 128 US products on which it says it will impose customs duties of 15-25 percent if negotiations with Washington fail.

May 19: Signs Of Appeasement

The two countries announce a draft deal under which Beijing agrees to reduce its trade surplus “significantly”.

In the following weeks, China makes several conciliatory gestures, reducing customs duties, lifting restrictions and offering to buy extra US goods.

July 6: Trade War

The United States nonetheless slaps 25-per cent duties on about $34 billion of Chinese imports, including cars, hard disks and aircraft parts.

Beijing imposes tariffs of equal size and scope, including on-farm produce, cars and marine products.

August 23: Escalation

Washington imposes tariffs on another $16 billion of Chinese goods on August 23, a day after negotiations resume.

China applies 25-per cent tariffs on $16 billion of US goods, including Harley-Davidson motorcycles, bourbon and orange juice.

On September 24, Washington slaps 10 per cent taxes on $200 billion of Chinese imports. Beijing puts customs duties on $60 billion of US goods.

December 1: Truce

Washington suspends for three months a tariff increase from 10 to 25 per cent due to begin January 1 on $200 billion of Chinese goods.

China agrees to purchase a “very substantial” amount of US products and suspends extra tariffs added to US-made cars and auto parts for three months starting January 1. It allows imports of American rice.

May 10, 2019: Hostilities Resume

Washington ends the truce, increasing duties on $200 billion in Chinese imports.

Trump opens a new front in the war on May 15, barring US companies from using foreign telecoms equipment deemed a security risk — a move aimed at Chinese giant Huawei.

The US Commerce Department also announces an effective ban on US companies selling or transferring US technology to Huawei.

On May 20 it issues a 90-day reprieve on the ban.

June 29: Negotiations ‘Back On’

At the G20 in Osaka, Trump and President Xi Jinping strike a ceasefire. Washington vows to hold off on further tariffs and Trump declares trade negotiations “back on track”.

US and Chinese negotiators meet in Shanghai on July 30 and 31 for “constructive” talks, and agree to continue discussions in September.

August 1: New US Sanctions

Accusing Beijing of reneging on promises to buy US agricultural products and stop the sale of the opioid fentanyl, Trump announces new 10 per cent tariffs on another $300 billion in Chinese goods from September 1.

It means virtually all of the $660 billion in annual trade between the world’s two biggest economies will be subject to duties.

Beijing threatens counter-measures.

August 5: Currency Row

China allows the yuan to fall below 7.0 to the dollar for the first time in 11 years. Washington accuses Beijing of manipulating its currency in order to help its exports, a charge denied by China’s central bank.

Chinese state media announced that Beijing had suspended purchases of American farm exports.