US tariff action will be defeated, asserts China's state media

SHANGHAI • China's state media has railed against the United States, warning its trade protectionism actions would end in defeat and that the only option now was to hit the US hard enough so it will "remember the pain".

"If the US says that it will pay any price, it must be firmly attacked," China's official Xinhua news agency said yesterday.

China warned on Friday it was ready with a "fierce counter-strike" of fresh trade measures if the US followed through on President Donald Trump's threat to slap tariffs on an additional US$100 billion (S$132 billion) worth of Chinese goods.

Last Wednesday, China imposed US$3 billion worth of tariffs on US fruits, nuts, wine and pork, just hours after the Trump administration proposed duties on some 1,300 Chinese industrial, technology, transport and medical products.

Rising trade tensions between the world's two largest economies follows a US finding that China had engaged in unfair practices in connection with intellectual property protection. China rejects the charge.

China's media, which is strictly controlled by the government, has come out in defence of the country, painting it as a victim of an overly aggressive US bent on taking illegitimate unilateral action.

"The White House has completely lost its sense of reality!" said the ruling Communist Party's People's Daily newspaper in a Friday commentary, alleging the US is acting unilaterally and engaging in trade protectionism.

Meanwhile, the nationalist Global Times said in an editorial published late on Thursday that the "Chinese are aware that the only option now is to hit the US hard enough so it will remember the pain".

The duelling trade threats rattled Wall Street on Friday, ending a volatile week with major indexes closing down more than 2 per cent on the day.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 08, 2018, with the headline 'US tariff action will be defeated, asserts China's state media'. Print Edition | Subscribe