China Says Can't Hold US Trade Talks With "Knife To The Throat"

File Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed that the United States would emerge victorious in an intensifying trade war with China

As the Trump administration escalated the ongoing trade conflict, government officials from Beijing on Monday accused the White House of engaging in "trade bullyism" to intimidate other countries into submission, as reported by Reuters.

The U.S. has already imposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, and China has retaliated on an equal amount on U.S. goods.

Trump threatened last week to add an additional $267 billion in Chinese imports to the target list if Beijing retaliated for the latest USA taxes, which would cover almost everything China sells to the US.

USA activated tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods that have scuttled their bilateral talks. China has responded with tariffs on U.S. goods worth $110 billion and declined an invitation for talks this week.

China's exports to the USA accounted for 19 percent of all its overseas shipments past year, according to a white paper published by China's cabinet, the State Council, on Monday.

At a conference Tuesday, the Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce - Wang Shouwen - said negotiations with the US depend on the willingness of the White House. While the USA has a trade deficit with China, Chinese companies have a profit deficit with the US, he said.

Although a senior White House official said last week the USA would continue to engage China "for a positive way forward", neither side has signaled any willingness to compromise. But he said that Trump's lack of a clear goal for the trade war - outside of vague assertions about the trade deficit - raises the likelihood that the negotiations could be fruitless.

China's deputy trade negotiator on Tuesday acknowledged the challenge in resuming negotiations with the United States, saying: "How could you negotiate with someone when he puts a knife on your neck?"

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seemed confident on Sunday, however, that the USA would win any potential trade war with China.

Among the US items expected to be hardest hit, according to an analysis from the Trade News Centre, are printed circuit boards, desktop computers, computer parts and metal and wooden furniture.

The white paper is the country's most comprehensive statement of its trade war stance to date and came as new tit-for-tat tariffs came into effect.

The country's top trade negotiator, however, dodged CNN's question about if trade talks are becoming pointless if, as indicated in numerous state media commentaries, the Chinese leadership under President Xi Jinping increasingly views Trump's trade war as a strategic move to contain the rise of China. The Trump administration has also called on China to allow US companies greater access to Chinese markets and to cut its USA trade surplus.

Luo called the trade-related risks driving firms out of China a natural phenomenon and said Beijing would look at the situation rationally.

China will "earnestly reduce taxes and burdens for companies and strive to optimise the business environment", he added.

Senior officials also once again rejected Washington's accusations that China forces foreign companies to share their technology with Chinese joint-venture partners, adding that Beijing has passed a rule forbidding government entities from such illegal behaviour.

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