BEIJING (Sputnik) – Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, an economic adviser to the president, told his US counterpart in a phone call on Saturday that Beijing was ready to protect its trade interests.
“China is fully ready and has the strength to defend its national interests,” he told Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, as quoted by the CCTV broadcaster.
Liu He added Beijing hoped that the world’s two largest economies would work together to iron out differences. The call was initiated by the United States after Beijing said it was not afraid of a trade war following a series of US tariffs on Chinese imports.
A US memo signed Thursday imposed multibillion duties on China. US President Donald Trump also imposed heavy tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminium. In return, Beijing drew up a list of 128 US goods, such as pork and wine, it considered for import taxes.
China’s Commerce Ministry said it would study public feedback and accept suggestions from businesses and experts until the end of March, before making a decision the tariffs against the United States.