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China's Premier Li Keqiang gestures as he arrives for a news conference after the closing ceremony of China's National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.─Reuters
China's Premier Li Keqiang gestures as he arrives for a news conference after the closing ceremony of China's National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.─Reuters

China's Premier Li Keqiang said on Wednesday that Beijing does not want to see a trade war with the United States and urged talks between both sides to achieve common ground.

"We do not want to see any trade war breaking out between the two countries. That would not make our trade fairer," Li said at his annual news conference at the end of the annual meeting of China's parliament.

"Our hope on the Chinese side is that no matter what bumps this relationship hits, we hope it will continue to move forward in a positive direction," he said.

"We may have different statistical methods, but I believe whatever differences we may have we can all sit down and talk to each other and work together to find solutions," Li said.

Issues that cannot immediately be solved should be "shelved" for the time being, he added.

US media have reported that US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet in Florida next month.

Trump has attacked China on issues ranging from trade to the South China Sea and what he perceives as China's lack of interest in reining in nuclear-armed North Korea.

During the election campaign, Trump had threatened to label China a currency manipulator and impose huge tariffs on imports of Chinese goods.

He has not followed through on either move yet, but the US Treasury will issue its semi-annual currency report in April.

China's trade surplus against the United States was $366 billion in 2015.

Last month, Trump held his first face-to-face talks with a member of the Chinese leadership, top diplomat Yang Jiechi, who outranks Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The White House said it was a chance to discuss shared security interests and a possible meeting with President Xi.

Li also reiterated in his remarks that China-US relations are founded upon adherence to the "one China" policy, under which Washington acknowledges the Chinese position that there is only one China, of which Taiwan is a part.

The "one China" policy "has remained unshaken despite changing circumstances," he said, adding "this foundation cannot be undermined."

Trump incensed Beijing in December by talking to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and saying the United States did not have to stick to the policy, vaguely suggesting that he may abandon the policy as part of negotiations for a better trade deal with China.

Trump later agreed in a phone call with Xi to honour the "one China" policy in a diplomatic boost for Beijing, which vehemently opposes criticism of its claim to self-ruled, proudly democratic Taiwan.

Li also said China did not seek a sustained trade surplus with the European Union, and that the imbalance "would clearly improve" if Europe exported more high-tech products to China.

The United States and the EU have long maintained export controls as security measures against China on a range of products with both military and civilian uses.

China wants access to high-tech components to move its manufacturing industries higher up the value chain, but the foreign business community has often voiced concern about weak protection of intellectual property rights and forced technology transfers in exchange for market access.


Comments (55) Closed



Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Mar 15, 2017 01:50pm

He is 100 percent right.

ROCKY Mar 15, 2017 01:56pm

if trade war starts.. china's dragon will become lizard!

RAJA CHILL Mar 15, 2017 02:43pm

The statement shows that china is already on back foot.

Devsa Mar 15, 2017 02:51pm

China must stop its dumping policy.

AHA Mar 15, 2017 03:01pm

Just because China is at receiving end....

Desi Dimag Mar 15, 2017 03:06pm

Be ready other developing countries, you are going to be benefitted. Chinese downfall starts now.

Vectra Mar 15, 2017 03:08pm

China is nervous of US because all those years of Chinese warning of trade to others especially US is proving out t be hollow threats. The reality is China cannot survive without US trade and technology but US can do without China by simply sifting the manufacturing based to other developing countries likIndia,Indonesia,Vietnam,Philippine etc who can then then export cheap products to US giving US consumer access to cheap goods as usual as it is now with China.

Vectra Mar 15, 2017 03:11pm

China is nervous of US because all those years of Chinese warning of trade to others especially US is proving out t be hollow threats.The reality is China cannot survive without US trade and technology but US can do without China by simply sifting the manufacturing based to other developing countries like India,Indonesia,Vietnam,Philippine etc who can then then export cheap products to US giving US consumer access to cheap goods as usual as it is now with China.

Sk Mar 15, 2017 03:15pm

American Economy is largest and has been in the top for more than 7 decades where as China is not even their half with largest population in the world and on top of that they have this economy for about a decade only. America's economy have been stabled for decades and have a enormous edge over a China whose economy is directly supported by government If America start supporting their companies and adopt similar policies like China's the whole China's economy fall and can even directly affect the China s government. Ofcourse American's will need to pay high prices for every Cheap products of China but it may not affect America as it is a consumer based economy and already a developed country where as China is way more far away from a consumer market as it is dependent on exports and its Gdp is based on construction and manufacturing based activities.

M. AsGhar Mar 15, 2017 03:11pm

China knows and understands well as to how move safely for its basic interests.

wellwisher Mar 15, 2017 03:28pm

a trade war with US will end China manufacturing

zak Mar 15, 2017 03:32pm

The world, including US cannot do without China. China is the industrial base of the world.

Once president Bush wanted to bar imports from China, to teach it a lesson. His economic advisers told him, "unless you want to see Jeans in shops sold at $20 per piece, go up to $ 150 a piece for the common man, which will in turn lose you the next election, then dont do it". Bush dropped the idea.

SID Mar 15, 2017 04:02pm

@zak Trump is not Bush . Yes it will affect US . China will be most affected. Chinese companies will have to shift manufacturing base to US just like they are shifting from Mexico to US . Already China on backfoot due to economy slowdown. GDP is expected grow around 6-6.5% ( lowest in 2 decade) . Forex reserve is down by $ 1 trillion in last 18 months . In such a case , China can hardly afford any trade war with US since US is the biggest market & Chinese economy is export based.

lost cause Mar 15, 2017 04:05pm

Will China shelve south-china sea issue. Better start practicing what you preach.

AHA Mar 15, 2017 04:06pm

@zak That was in an era where building a factory would take a decade. Now there are dozens of countries with infra and capability to scale up within months. China is already losing many areas. I see Bangla made products are preferred for most of ready made low cost clothes now. I live in Australia and superstores like K-Mart, Target, Big-W are full Bangla/India made garments and three years ago China made was over 90%.

rajendra Mar 15, 2017 04:23pm

Good going Trump. China is manipulator of currency and is no good for others.

Azmeen Mar 15, 2017 04:59pm

A positive gesture from China.

Andy Mar 15, 2017 05:06pm

Question is, can people trust you ? Your achievements are eye opening, but are you trustworthy for the world. Where the transparency stand by since you are not peoples mandate democracy. Your intentions can change like wind turns if you start to falling behind others. Set some examples first other than development so the world can trust your intentions. Human race can't be self centric, it should be for all. Othe developing democracy might be behind by few numbers but still that's the way to get integrated to the society.

RAjaB Mar 15, 2017 05:12pm

As chinese economy is manufacturing driven, especially largely of low cost goods, rather than resource or high end tech..its heavily reliant on markets. Making the economy fragile once countries like India, bangldesh, mexico etc improve infrastructure and are direct competitors in this space. Very possible in the nxt 5-10yrs.

Adnan Mar 15, 2017 06:11pm

Great diplomacy by the Chinese.

Alba Mar 15, 2017 06:39pm

There are no tougher negotiators in business than the Chinese, and they don't like it when the shoe is on the other foot.

Alba Mar 15, 2017 06:49pm

@lost cause ..... The international "Laws of the Sea" were written before, and practiced before, the Peoples Republic of China was ever a country. Every nation abides by these laws except China and the Thai and Somali pirates. The maritime ships of all civilized nations go by these rules. China has been advised on what these laws are many times recently.

Ashish Mar 15, 2017 07:04pm

The bottom line is the whole world is already integrated with each other

Ashish Mar 15, 2017 07:05pm

China and USA depends on each other

Ashish Mar 15, 2017 07:04pm

The USA has lot of alternatives while china does not have any alternative

Ashish Mar 15, 2017 07:06pm

So Pakistan people and leaders need to understand this fact that don't depends and rely on China

Ashish Mar 15, 2017 07:06pm

The stability and prosperity of Pakistan depends on peaceful relationship with India.

Alba Mar 15, 2017 07:06pm

@RAjaB ... China produces much more than low end goods. From silk dresses to aircraft carriers. There is a great deal of research going on in Chinese between Chinese companies and US companies in the areas of battery storage and solar panels. Isn't China building Pakistan a nuclear power station? The new state of the art skyscraper in Islamabad will be built by the Chinese. China began producing low cost goods in the manufacturing sectors to give Chinese people jobs. Breaking into markets, the prices of some goods from 1995 to 2005 did not even make a profit. That did not matter so much as that employment was provided for the masses in economic zones created across the country to benefit the people.

Ashish Mar 15, 2017 07:06pm

Very soon India is going to overtake China in all aspects

Ashish Mar 15, 2017 07:03pm

And also for China India is more important than Pakistan.

Ashish Mar 15, 2017 07:08pm

The only superpower of world(USA) depends heavily on raising superpower India.

Alba Mar 15, 2017 07:08pm

@Adnan .... They have no choice, and Trump knew this all along.

Paklander Mar 15, 2017 07:21pm

Comments by Indian readers are full of resentment against Chinese. inferiority complex is killing Indians

omveer Mar 15, 2017 07:48pm

Chinese are scared that US will shift it's manufacturing hub from China to India and other South East Asian countries. It's vision of CPEC and silk route will be futile.The golden days of Chinese economic resurgence are over.

lost cause Mar 15, 2017 07:51pm

@Alba When they say US to shelve trade differences for time being are they willing to shelve the issue of South-China sea. Most of the trade to far east happens through this passage.

ANT Mar 15, 2017 08:05pm

Smart, because they will lose big.

KHALID YOUSAFZAI (UK) Mar 15, 2017 08:13pm

and neither do Pakistan want....

Observer Mar 15, 2017 08:27pm

Because you cannot win.

Observer Mar 15, 2017 08:28pm

@Paklander Is that even a comment? They are giving arguments to support their views. What is your argument? I don't see any except rhetoric.

Mike London Mar 15, 2017 08:47pm

Without US trade China's industries will dry up quick.

shafi Mar 15, 2017 08:56pm

@Alba Very true,

shafi Mar 15, 2017 08:53pm

@zak Yeah right, who are you trying to fool? With all robotics in manufacturing and many products now being "Proudly Made in the USA" its coming back faster to USA and not only cost is low but the quality is a zillion times better that the lowest quality crap of the chinese manufacturing.

Kamal Mar 15, 2017 09:39pm

China has created so many enemies around. Sometimes I feel Pakistan unnecessarily getting into a wrong camp.

US / Europe / Russia are of one kind. China is another kind.

But at the moment no choice for Pakistan.

MJ Mar 15, 2017 10:01pm

Right way to do business is keeping good relationship with everyone !

Jaydeep Mar 15, 2017 10:54pm

@zak It can and it will , you might be depending on china for everything , the world does not . after all the world does not revolve around cpec , but yours sure does.

Mustafa R. Mar 16, 2017 12:14am

@Vectra;

'simply sifting the manufacturing based to other developing countries '

manufacturing base is not something you develop in two or three years. It would take the US a decade to regainthe manufacturing base they have outsourced to other countries, let alone create a manufacturing base in developing countries.

Mustafa R. Mar 16, 2017 12:16am

@RAJA CHILL;

'The statement shows that china is already on back foot.'

Old Baniya thinking, always take reconciliation for weakness.

Observer Mar 16, 2017 12:29am

Trump might come across as an outspoken and immature leader but has the business insight to see flow of US money into Chinese hands strengthening and enabling China to challenge the US supermacy in various ways. China's strength is its manufacturing sector and its cost effectiveness. If Trump wants, he has multiple options to blunt China's advantage. The robot based Technology and moving orders to other countries like India, the Philipines, Vietnam, Thialand, Bangladesh etc. These countries already have infrastructure which can be improved. China will be weakened very quickly. Perhaps China knows it, therefore, reconciliatory tone.

Futurewizard Mar 16, 2017 03:57am

Cos they can't afford it china is producer and US is consumer. No us backing and we see a bankrupt china.

Patel, USA Mar 16, 2017 03:58am

@zak we all Americans support Trump to bring these American companies back to USA. we support Made in USA. May be expensive but who cares.

HZR Mar 16, 2017 04:28am

The bauble is bursting and gungho is going down.China knows it is not ready to lose big markets by challenge them

vijay Mar 16, 2017 05:26am

This should not be a surprise to any one. Chinese like the Iranians are the smartest negotiators in the world and they realize that a trade war with US would be counter productive. Plus the way things are going in the US I don't see Trump being a President for more than 1 term.

AXH Mar 16, 2017 05:43am

@RAJA CHILL - "The statement shows that china is already on back foot."

No country can get into trade war with the US, not China not India primarily because US is the largest market in the world and everyone wants access to that market. Secondly, if US stops its businesses from sending jobs to foreign countries, those foreign countries will lose a lot of revenue.

Raj Mar 16, 2017 08:31am

@Alba but still look to west for high tech. and also for market. The moment US increase import duty on Chinese product. All their progess will eat dust due to lace of fund.

Redaer Mar 16, 2017 09:11am

Because if US stops buying Chinese stuff then China would be decimated...will become zero...