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China Rejects U.S. ‘Backtracking’ Charge and Urges Dialogue in Trade Dispute

By Zhang Yu and Denise Jia / May 10, 2019 04:02 AM / Economy

Photo:Ministry of Commerce

Photo:Ministry of Commerce

China has never changed its stance on being trustworthy and keeping its promises, even though the U.S. administration recently accused it of “backtracking” and “reneging” on promises, China’s Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said Thursday.

Gao told reporters in Beijing at a routine press briefing that it was normal for parties to have disagreements during negotiations, a process of exchanging opinions and reaching consensus. He emphasized China’s clear sincerity and good intention over the past year to push the trade talks forward.

The ministry spokesman called for the two sides to meet halfway and resolve problems through dialogue rather than unilateral actions. He also warned that China is fully prepared and capable of defending its interests and that China will not succumb to pressure.

The comments came after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to raise tariffs on $200 billion of annual Chinese imports to 25% from 10%, saying China was backtracking on earlier commitments. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer Wednesday confirmed the tariff increase starting as soon as Friday.

China’s Vice Premier Liu He is leading a delegation set to resume trade talks with the U.S. in Washington Thursday and Friday. Gao said the decision to send the delegation to Washington as planned despite the tariff threat demonstrated China’s “utmost sincerity.”

Related: Ahead of New Trade Talks, China Vows to Retaliate If U.S. Levies New Tariffs

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