World

China Doesn't Want a Trade War With US, Premier Declares

China Doesn't Want a Trade War With US, Premier Declares

Now word comes that Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said at China's National People's Congress that China does not want a trade war, but that if it did happen, the US could be hurt. "That would not make our trade fairer", Li said at his annual news conference at the end of the annual meeting of China's parliament. But if the US were to impose punitive tariffs on Chinese imports, USA agriculture and aerospace might be early targets for retaliation, since China imports American farm products and airplanes that could be supplied by other countries.

"China hopes that no matter what bumps this relationship may encounter it will continue to forge in the right direction", Li added.

During the election campaign, he had threatened to label China a currency manipulator and impose huge tariffs on imports of Chinese goods.

Li also reiterated that China does not want a trade war with the United States, and urged talks with Washington to find common ground.

Mr Li also said that Beijing has no plans to devalue its yuan to boost exports and will keep its exchange rate "generally stable".

"Almost every year I have heard a prediction of the Chinese economy having a hard landing", he said.

"We hope the USA and China can together expand our common interests, which the members of the Association of Southeast Asian nations can benefit from", Li said.

The Government is hoping to expand GDP by about 6.5 per cent this year - a slowdown from 6.7 per cent growth last year. The economy grew 6.7 percent previous year.


He added that the depreciation of the Chinese yuan against the dollar was quite modest.

Data in recent weeks has shown the economy got off to a strong start to 2017, though growth appears to still be heavily dependent on credit, infrastructure investment and the property market. This is seen as a reference to Trump's "America first" policy.

Li said that despite disparate interests over the maritime dispute, China's Southeast Asian neighbours would remain its regional diplomatic priority, adding that long-stalled talks between Beijing and Asean over a code of conduct in the South China Sea had made substantive progress. "We will take prompt and targeted measures to prevent them from further spreading", Li said.

The RMB has solid presence in the global currency system and the RMB exchange rate will remain generally stable, he added.

"China will continue to open to the outside world", the premier said. "We still have a good reserve of policy options and instruments at our disposal".

"With that foundation in place, we believe there are bright prospects for China-U.S. cooperation", he said.

A high-standard BIT between China and the European Union will aid bilateral opening-up, said Li.


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