Below is the transcript of Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang’s reply to question regarding US tariffs during a regular press briefing.
Q: It is reported that US officials said President Trump has decided to approve the value of 50 billion US dollars of Chinese exports to the US goods to levy a 25% tariff, the decision will be formally announced Friday US time. Did the U.S. inform the Chinese side? The Chinese side has repeatedly stated that if the U.S. side introduces trade sanctions including the increase of tariffs, all trade and economic achievements negotiated by the two parties will not take effect. Yesterday, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi stated that if the United States chooses the idea of confrontation and double lose, China is ready. Do you have any further response to this? What kind of countermeasures will China take?
A: Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo visited China during the visit and exchanged views with China on Sino-U.S. relations and important international and regional issues, including China-US economic and trade issues. Please read carefully the relevant news released by the Chinese side. China’s position on China-U.S. economic and trade issues is very clear in the press release. Here I want to emphasize a few more points:
First, the nature of Sino-U.S. economic and trade relations is mutually beneficial and win-win. We have always advocated that, on the basis of mutual respect, equality, and mutual benefit, we should handle economic and trade issues in a constructive manner through dialogue and consultation, and constantly narrow differences and expand cooperation for the benefit of both. People of the country.
Second, China and the United States maintained communication on economic and trade issues, including China-US economic and trade frictions, and also conducted consultations. In fact, they have made some progress. If you remember, after the Sino-U.S. economic and trade consultations earlier this month, China issued a statement. In the statement, we clearly pointed out that if the U.S. side introduces trade sanctions including the increase of tariffs, all the economic and trade achievements negotiated by the two parties will not take effect.
Thirdly, at the beginning of April this year, spokespersons of the Ministry of Commerce and spokesmen of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had all made formal responses to some U.S. unilateralist words and deeds. The Chinese position is consistent. Here I would like to reiterate that if the U.S. side adopts unilateralism and protectionism and damages China’s interests, we will respond in the first instance and take necessary measures to firmly safeguard our legitimate rights and interests.