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China vows to take 'countermeasures' against U.S. punitive tariff

(People's Daily Online)    13:56, March 22, 2018

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Chinese authorities on Wednesday warned that China will undoubtedly take necessary measures to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests, a tough response to the White House plan to announce a package of tariffs Thursday penalizing China for so-called intellectual property theft.

“We want no trade war with anyone, but if our hands are forced, we will not quail nor recoil from it. Therefore, if the day did come when the U.S. took measures to hurt our interests, we will definitely take firm and necessary countermeasures to safeguard our legitimate interests,” said Hua Chunying, spokesperson of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Wednesday.

Hua’s response comes following the White House decision to take action based on USTR’s 301 investigations into China’s ‘market-distorting’ efforts to ‘force, pressure and steal U.S. technologies and intellectual property.’ Raj Shah, U.S. principal deputy press secretary said in a statement that U.S. President Trump will announce the actions on Thursday.

According to Section 301, U.S. authorities are empowered to take actions against countries for violations of trade agreements or unfair practices.

Addressing the U.S. accusation of unfair trade and intellectual theft, the Chinese government has been reiterating its stance on avoiding a trade war. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on March 20 said China does not want to see a trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

“A trade war would not make our trade fairer. It would be foreign-funded companies, particularly U.S. firms, that would first bear the brunt,” said Li while addressing a press conference audience following the conclusion of the annual session of China’s national legislature.

The decision has also led to objections in America. According to Xinhua, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other trade associations urged the U.S. government not to impose unilateral tariffs on Chinese goods, as it would hurt American consumers and U.S. economic growth.

"The current trade imbalance between China and the US is a result of many factors, and shall be addressed by opening markets wider to each other and making the pie of cooperation bigger, instead of by waging a trade war or forcing others to buy or sell," Hua noted. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Kou Jie, Bianji)

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