China does not want trade war with US: Commerce ministry

The flags of US and China flutter in front of a portrait of late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong at the Tiananmen gate in Beijing on Nov 8, 2017.
The flags of US and China flutter in front of a portrait of late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong at the Tiananmen gate in Beijing on Nov 8, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China does not want a trade war with the United States, but it won't accept any negotiations if they are hijacked unilaterally, China's commerce ministry said on Thursday (March 29).

China opposes US intimidation on trade, ministry spokesman Gao Feng told a regular briefing in Beijing, adding that China will conduct trade-related investigations fairly and in accordance with local and WTO rules.

Gao said China did not rule out any options in relation to US trade issues and that the solution on trade was not to close the door but open it further.

He also said the US approach on trade sets a bad precedent that could trigger a domino effect and the United States must stop its wrong actions and withdraw from its unilateralism.

The US trade measures on China were typical trade protectionism and reflected a Cold War attitude, Gao said.

A US 301 probe on China was a blatant violation of World Trade Organization rules, Gao said.

China hoped the United States could take measures and resolve the conflicts through dialogue and hoped trade relations between the two countries could return to normal, Gao said.

He said China would take all possible steps to protect its interests and was confident in its ability to counter any trade and investment protectionism.