China says it will take counter-measures if a plan unveiled by US President Donald Trump to put tariffs on steel and aluminum imports harms Chinese economic interests.
China’s Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui made the warning at a news conference ahead of an annual session of the parliament in Beijing on Sunday.
“China does not want to fight a trade war with the United States, but if the US takes actions that hurt Chinese interests, China will not sit idly by and will take necessary measures,” Zhang said. “If policies are made on the basis of mistaken judgments or assumptions, it will damage bilateral relations and bring about consequences that neither country wants to see.”
The Chinese official further said that negotiation and the mutual opening of markets would be the best ways to resolve trade frictions between the two countries.
China had earlier called on the US to exercise restraint in using trade protection measures, respect the rules of multilateral trade, and make a positive contribution to the international economic and trading order.
In 2017, China exported about 740,000 metric tons of steel products to the US, down by about 6 percent from 2016, according to the US Census Bureau.—Xinhua