China accuses US of ‘naked economic terrorism’, Latest World News - The New Paper

China accuses US of ‘naked economic terrorism’

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Beijing warns there will be no winner in a trade war but they are not afraid of it

BEIJING : China has accused the United States of "naked economic terrorism".

The world's top two economies are at loggerheads as trade talks have stalled, with US President Donald Trump hiking tariffs on Chinese goods earlier this month and blacklisting telecom giant Huawei.

"We are against the trade war, but we are not afraid of it," Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Hanhui said at a press briefing yesterday.

"This premeditated instigation of a trade conflict is naked economic terrorism, economic chauvinism, and economic bullying," Mr Zhang said.

"There is no winner in a trade war," he warned.

China has hit back with its own tariff increase that will take effect on June 1, while state media has suggested that Beijing could stop exports of rare earths to the US, depriving Washington of a key resource used to make hi-tech products.

Meanwhile, state media and officials are tapping patriotic fervour.

China's propaganda apparatus has continued to step up.

"We advise the US to not underestimate China's ability to safeguard its own development rights and interests, and not to say we didn't warn you," the party's mouthpiece, The People's Daily, said in an editorial on Wednesday warning that rare earths could be used as a counter-measure.

China produces more than 95 per cent of the world's rare earths, and the United States relies on the Asian superpower for upwards of 80 per cent of its imports.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, asked about the rare earths threat during an interview, said that Americans have already "lost and suffered for decades under the current rules" and that Mr Trump's "singular focus is to push back" on China.


He renewed his attack on Huawei, saying there was a "deep connectivity" between the company and the Chinese state.

"If it's the case that the Chinese Communist Party wanted to get information from technology that was in the possession of Huawei, it is almost certainly the case that Huawei would provide that to them," he told the Fox Business Network.

Huawei has rejected the criticism and filed a motion for summary judgement, hoping it would swiftly win a lawsuit against US legislation that bars federal agencies from using the company's equipment.

"This trade conflict will also have a serious negative impact on the development and revival of the global economy," Mr Zhang said yesterday.

While Washington and Beijing spar, Mr Xi is preparing to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin from June 5 to June 7.

China and Russia have broad consensus and common interests on the trade war issue, Mr Zhang said.

"China and Russia will certainly strengthen economic and trade cooperation, including cooperation in various fields such as economic and trade investment," he added.

"We will certainly respond to various external challenges, do what we have to do, develop our economies, and constantly improve the living standards of our two peoples." - AFP