BEIJING – China’s commerce ministry said on Thursday trade negotiations with the United States would be impossible as Washington’s attempts at dialog were not sincere, and vowed to retaliate should US President Donald Trump escalate current tensions.
China President Xi Jinping on Tuesday vowed to open China’s economy further and lower import duties on goods such as cars, which had boosted hopes for a compromise. Trump responded in a tweet saying he was “thankful” for Xi’s remarks on tariffs and access for US automakers, and said both countries would “make great progress together.”
Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng told reporters during a regular briefing, however, that Xi’s remarks had nothing to do with the trade row and should not be mischaracterised as a concession to Washington.
“I hope some people in the US do not misjudge the situation,” he said. “If the United States takes any action to escalate the situation, China will not hesitate to fight back.”