China’s Wang tells Pompeo US must negotiate on equal basis

China's senior diplomat Wang Yi said the United States should not go "too far" in the current trade dispute between the two sides, adding China was still willing to resolve differences through negotiations, but they should be on an equal footing.
China's senior diplomat Wang Yi said the United States should not go "too far" in the current trade dispute between the two sides, adding China was still willing to resolve differences through negotiations, but they should be on an equal footing.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) - Negotiating on an equal footing is the only way to solve pressing trade issues, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo in a phone call on Saturday (May 18), the ministry said in a statement. 

Mr Wang said the UShas recently harmed China’s interests through various words and actions, including by what he said was containing normal business operations of China companies by political means, according to a readout of the call posted on the ministry website. 

The State Department acknowledged the call in a one-sentence statement.

“They discussed elements of the bilateral relationship, including US concerns about Iran,” said spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus. 

Mr Wang urged “all parties to exercise restraint and act with caution” in Iran, and warned against “long-arm jurisdiction” by the US, according to the ministry readout. 

The more detailed Chinese readout also said that Mr Wang pointed out that China is willing to resolve economic and trade disputes through negotiations, but that China must safeguard its legitimate interests and defend “basic norms of international relations". 

He also urged Mr Pompeo that the US should abide by the One China policy in regards to the status of Taiwan. 

The Wang-Pompeo call came days after President Donald Trump, citing national security concerns, signed an executive order that could effectively ban Huawei Technologies Co and Chinese sister firm ZTE Corp from the US market.

The Department of Commerce on Thursday also said it had put Huawei on a blacklist that could forbid it from doing business with American companies. 

The pair of actions risk aggravating Beijing as Mr Trump attempts to pressure China’s leaders into agreeing to a wide-ranging trade deal.

Mr Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on almost all imports from the world’s No. 2 economy after last week increasing duties on some US$200 billion (S$275.48 billion) in Chinese products to 25 per cent from 10 per cent.

No talks between the parties are scheduled at the moment.