BEIJING (Reuters) – China is willing to resolve its trade dispute with the United States through "calm" negotiations and resolutely opposes escalating the conflict, Vice Premier Liu He said, leading the talks with Washington on Monday.
FILE PHOTO: US Dollar and China Yuan banknotes are seen in this photo illustration June 2, 2017. REUTERS / Thomas White / Illustration / File Photo / File Photo / File Photo
The increasingly bitter trade war between the world's two largest economies escalated sharply on Friday, with both sides leveling more customs for each other's exports.
U.S. President Donald Trump announced a surcharge of around $ 550 billion of targeted Chinese goods on Friday, hours after China unveiled a $ 75 billion US dollar retaliatory duty.
However, on Sunday, Trump appeared to support his threat to command US companies out of China.
Liu, speaking at a technical conference in southwestern China's Chongqing, said that no one had the benefit of a trade war.
"We are willing to solve the problem through consultations and cooperation in a calm attitude and resolutely counter the escalation of the trade war," said Liu, who is President Xi Jinping's chief economic adviser, according to a government statement.
"We believe that the escalation of the trade war is not beneficial to China, the United States, nor to the interests of the world's people," he added.
U.S. companies are particularly welcome in China and will be treated well, Liu said.
"We welcome companies from all over the world, including the United States, to invest and operate in China," he added.
"We will continue to create a good investment environment, protect intellectual property rights, promote the development of smart intelligent industries with our open market, resolutely oppose technological blockages and protectionism, and strive to protect the completeness of the supply chain."
It was not clear how Trump could make US companies leave China.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that Trump could order companies out of China under the International Emergency Act if he declared a national crisis.
The trade war has harmed global growth, upset allies and raised fears for the market that the world economy will tap into a recession.
Global stock markets weakened on Monday following recent measures, while China's yuan currency fell to a new 11-year low. Investors poured into safe havens of sovereign bonds and gold.
Chinese state media blew up the United States on Monday.
The official China Daily said in an editorial that Washington would "never be allowed to control China's destiny".
"It has undoubtedly become clear that the administration's tariff war against China is politically motivated. What Washington wants from its biggest trading partner is that it should only play other fouls and do the kindness it requires," the English-language paper wrote In an editorial.
"Washington has again taken the initiative to escalate the fight in hopes that Beijing will throw the sponge in as early as possible. But Beijing sees the trade war as an inevitable trial from the country, which will make the country stronger. . "
The Global Times, a widely read tabloid published by the ruling Communist Party's official People & # 39; s Daily, said leaving the Chinese market would be" suicide "for US companies, especially for car companies.
"US companies are welcome to invest and operate in the Chinese market, but if some US companies want to obey Trump's order and participate in Washington's trade war, the result is A decision to abandon the Chinese market is just suicide, "the editorial says.
Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Yawen Chen; Editing by Michael Perry & Kim Coghill