Press Trust of india

China hits back at Pompeo; accuses US of blackmail tactics

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Beijing, Jun 19 : China today accused the Trump administration of igniting a full-blown trade war with “blackmailing” tactics to impose punitive tariffs on USD 200 billion of Chinese goods as it rebutted the US allegations of following “predatory economic” policies against the rest of the world.

In his most scathing comments yet against China, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo yesterday accused Beijing of following predatory economic policies against the rest of the world.

“This is predatory economics 101, and many other countries have recognized this. President (Donald) Trump is now working to re-shift this balance,” Pompeo was quoted as saying.

“Chinese leaders over these past few weeks have been claiming openness and globalization, but it’s a joke. Let’s be clear. It’s the most predatory economic government that operates against the rest of the world today. This is a problem that’s long overdue in being tackled,” Pompeo said in Detroit.

Miffed by Pompeo’s comments, China today hit back saying that the US is making allegations to cover up its unilateral protectionist policies.

“I have to point out that US remarks confused right with wrong and made irresponsible accusations against China to cover up its unilateral and protectionist moves,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing here today when asked for his reaction to Pompeo’s comments.

“Recently, in disregard of our consensus, the US demonstrated another flip flop to ignite a trade war. The US lost credibility with the people of the world and harms the interest to the two peoples, the interests of the two countries,” he said.

Asked whether the trade war has begun, Geng said, “China will not ignite a trade war, yet we are not afraid of it. If someone incites a trade war, we will firmly safeguard our legitimate interests.”

Separately, the Chinese Commerce Ministry has hit back accusing the US of blackmailing by threatening to slap additional tariffs on USD 200 billion of Chinese goods and warned that it would hit back with comprehensive measures if Washington went ahead with the plan.

China’s response came after Trump threatened to impose tariffs on an additional USD 200 billion worth of Chinese goods, days after slapping USD 50 billion tariffs on Chinese imports to the US.

In tit-for-tat retaliation last week, the Chinese government decided to impose additional duties of 25 per cent on 659 items of US products worth about USD 50 billion.

The moves and counter moves on tariffs came as the two countries held several rounds of talks following Trump’s demand to slash bilateral trade deficit by USD 100 billion in a month followed by USD 200 billion to address the USD 375 billion deficit.

If the United States loses its rationality and unveils another list of Chinese products for additional tariffs, China will have no choice but to take comprehensive measures combining quantitative and qualitative ones to resolutely strike back, a spokesperson of the Chinese Commerce Ministry said.

“Such practice of imposing extreme pressure and blackmailing is contrary to the consensus the two sides have reached through rounds of consultations, and disappoints the international community,” the spokesperson said.

“The trade war waged by the US is against both the law of the market and the development trend of today’s world. It undermines the interests of the Chinese and American people, the interests of companies and the interests of the people all over the world,” state-run Xinhua news agency quoted the spokesperson as saying.

The response taken by China aims to safeguard and defend not only the interests of the Chinese nation and the people, but also free trade regime and the common interests of mankind, said the spokesperson.

“No matter how external environment changes, China will follow its established rhythm, stick to the vision of making development people-centered, resolutely advance reform and opening up, resolutely promote high-quality economic development, and accelerate the development of a modern economy,” the spokesperson said.

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