There is no future in a trade war between China and the United States, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular press conference on Monday, stressing trade and the DPRK issue should not be linked.
I must emphasize that China-U.S. relations should be based on mutual respect for each others major interests and concerns, said Hua.
Hua made the remarks amid speculations that the U.S. may launch an investigation into Chinese trade practices in an effort to pressure Beijing on the DPRK crisis.
The Korean Peninsula and trade are different issues. The two nations should respect each other and enhance cooperation over these issues, said Hua. Its highly inappropriate to use one issue to put pressure on the other.
U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order on Monday, calling for an investigation into allegations of forced Chinese acquisition of technology and intellectual property from U.S. firms.
Trump has accused China of doing nothing but talk with the DPRK, and indicated a tougher stance on trade relations.
The possible inquiry will be under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, which allows the U.S. president to unilaterally impose tariffs or other trade restrictions to protect U.S. industries from unfair trade practices of foreign countries.
Commenting on China-U.S. trade relations, Hua underscored the extensive interwoven interests between the two countries, stressing that neither of them will emerge as the winner in a trade war.
The first China-U.S. Comprehensive Economic Dialogue was held in America last month and charted the course for bilateral economic cooperation, which Hua called the most important outcome of the dialogue.
The two sides agreed to be committed to the principle of win-win cooperation in trade, resolve differences through dialogue and consultation, as well as maintain communication on major economic policies.
Hua said China is willing to find a proper way to solve trade problems with the U.S. on the basis of mutual respect and mutual benefit, adding that the Chinese government always attaches great importance to the protection of intellectual property rights and has made progress that is obvious to all.
A member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) should follow WTO rules when taking trade measures, she said.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Commence announced on Monday the decision to ban DPRK imports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood, starting from Tuesday.