China stepped up its attacks on the Trump administration on Monday over billions of dollars worth of threatened tariffs, saying Washington is to blame for trade frictions and repeating it was impossible to negotiate under “current circumstances”.
The comments come after U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday predicted China would take down its trade barriers, and expressed optimism that both sides could resolve the issue through talks.
Chinese state researchers and media talked down the likely impact of U.S. trade measures on the world’s second largest economy and described the Trump administration’s posturing on trade as the product of an “anxiety disorder”.
“Under the current circumstances, both sides even more cannot have talks on these issues,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters at a regular news briefing.
“The United States with one hand wields the threat of sanctions, and at the same time says they are willing to talk. I’m not sure who the United States is putting on this act for,” Geng said.
The trade frictions were “entirely at the provocation of the United States”, he added.
Beijing did not want to fight a trade war, but was not afraid of one, Vice Commerce Minister Qian Keming said at the Boao Forum for Asia in the southern province of Hainan.
The focus this week will be on the forum, with President Xi Jinping and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde delivering speeches on Tuesday.