China has made its trade war demands ahead of the G20 summit: tariffs have not 'made America great again'

Oliver Contreras/Getty; Greg Baker/Getty; Shayanne Gal/Business Insider

On Sunday, a senior Chinese official made a series of statements outlining the Chinese government’s terms for negotiation and pushed back on the United States’ use of pressure to force concessions, according to multiple reports.

Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen, who led the working-level team in earlier negotiations, said on Sunday that the US bears responsibility for the collapse of trade talks, and noted that any deal must include “balanced” language between the two countries, according to a Bloomberg report.

“We’re willing to adopt a cooperative approach to find a solution,” Wang said, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

According to an Associated Press report, Wang added: “During the consultations, China has overcome many difficulties and put forward pragmatic solutions. However, the U.S. has backtracked, and when you give them an inch, they want a yard.”

Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe reinforced Wang’s comments during a defence forum in Singapore on Sunday, according to the AP report.

“If the U.S. wants to talk, we will keep the door open. If they want a fight, we will fight till the end,” Wei said.

Washington raised tariffs to 25% from 10% on $US200 billion worth of Chinese goods on May 10, and Beijing retaliated three days later by announcing raised tariffs on $US60 billion worth of American goods that went into effect Saturday. In May, the US made a list of prospective tariffs on another $US300 billion worth of goods that have yet to go into effect.

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According to a white paper released by the Chinese government alongside Wang’s public comments, the trade war has not “made America great again,” and has instead had negative impacts across the US economy.

The white paper also outlined requirements for a trade deal between the two countries: the United States remove all additional tariffs, China’s purchases of US goods should be “realistic,” and there should be a clearly defined “balance” in the agreement’s text.

The statements come ahead of the G20 summit, where it is unclear whether negotiators will meet. According to a Wall Street Journal report, the paper and the timing of its release is a way for China to make its position clear going into the international summit.

This all comes as trade tensions between the United States and China continue to escalate in what is feared to become a tech Cold War. Washington’s blacklisting of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei is still a major pain point in negotiations, and has led to Chinese retaliation against US tech companies. On Wednesday, China hinted it may restrict rare earth exports to the US, which could cripple US tech, defence, and manufacturing industries.

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