China is willing to resolve differences with the United States on an equal footing, the Chinese government’s top diplomat said on Friday after meeting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but added they did not address their trade war too specifically.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday instructed his trade officials to look at increasing tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion in Chinese imports into the United States.
Trump, who has accused China and others of exploiting the United States in global trade, has demanded that Beijing make a host of concessions to avoid the new duties, which could be imposed in the weeks after a comment period closes on Sept. 5.
China, however, shows no sign of bending to Washington’s pressure. Speaking to reporters after meeting Pompeo on the sidelines of a regional summit in Singapore, Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi said Pompeo told him he was “was willing to maintain constructive contact”.
Answering a question about what was specifically said on trade, Wang said: “We did not speak in such details. But actually, as journalists have noted, how can talks take place under this pressure?” Wang, who is also China’s foreign minister, urged the United States on Thursday to calm down and “carefully listen to the voices of U.S. consumers”.
So far, the United States has imposed duties on $34 billion of imports from China as part of a first tranche of sanctions on $50 billion of goods.