Senior China diplomat says door for trade dialogue with US still open

File photo showing Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who said that China's door of dialogue with the United States on bilateral trade frictions remains open, while reiterating that Beijing does not want a trade war.
File photo showing Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who said that China's door of dialogue with the United States on bilateral trade frictions remains open, while reiterating that Beijing does not want a trade war. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China's door of dialogue with the United States on bilateral trade frictions remains open, State Councillor Wang Yi said on Monday (July 30), reiterating that Beijing does not want a trade war.

Mr Wang, who is also Foreign Minister, speaking at a joint press briefing with visiting UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, said China and the US should resolve trade frictions through the World Trade Organisation framework.

Mr Wang also reiterated Beijing's stance that the root cause of the current trade imbalances between the world's top two economies lies with the United States, adding that the United States has reaped huge profits from China.

US and China are locked in a prolonged trade fight initiated by the Trump administration, which says China's high-tech industries have stolen intellectual property from American firms and demanded Beijing act to buy more US products to reduce a US$350 billion (S$476.96 billion) trade surplus.

The two sides initially appeared to have avoided a full-scale trade war in May, with China agreeing to buy more US agriculture and energy products, but the deal collapsed and the two sides slapped import tariffs on their respective goods.

Washington has since threatened to set tariffs on an additional US$450 billion worth of Chinese goods, and no formal negotiations between the two countries have taken place.