China to fight U.S. protectionism "at any cost"
China will fight "at any cost" and take "comprehensive countermeasures" if the United States continues its unilateral, protectionist practices, a spokesperson with the Ministry of Commerce said Friday.
China's Ministry of Commerce. [Photo: IC]
"On Sino-U.S. trade, China has made its position very clear. We don't want a trade war, but we are not afraid of such a war," the spokesperson said.
The remarks came after the U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday that he had asked the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to consider "100 billion U.S. dollars of additional tariffs" on Chinese products.
"Concerning the U.S. statement, we will not only listen to the words but also watch the deeds," the spokesperson said.
If the United States continues its protectionism regardless of opposition from China and the international community, China will fight to the end at any cost to "protect the interests of the country and the people," according to the spokesperson.
"The conflict was initiated by the United States as provocation," the spokesperson said.
"Essentially, it's about the U.S. unilateralism challenging the global multilateralism and the U.S. protectionism challenging the global free trade."
China will continue reform and opening up, safeguard multilateral trade, and promote global trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, the spokesperson added.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang expressed a similar sentiment when asked to comment on Trump's direction, according to a document on the ministry's website.
Earlier this week, the USTR office proposed imposing an additional 25 percent tariff on 50 billion dollars worth of imports from China, which drew strong opposition from business groups.
Hours after the release of the proposed tariff list, China struck back with a tariff plan of equal scale, with a list of U.S. products including soybeans, automobiles, aircraft and chemical products.
The date of implementation will depend on when the U.S. government imposes the tariffs on Chinese products, according to the Ministry of Finance.