China blames US for trade frictions, says talks currently impossible

CHINA China stepped up its attacks on the Trump administration yesterday over billions of dollars worth of threatened tariffs, saying Washington is to blame for frictions and repeating that it was impossible to negotiate under "current circumstances".

The comments come after US President Donald Trump on Sunday said China would take down its trade barriers, and expressed optimism that both sides could resolve the issue through talks.

Chinese state researchers and media talked down the likely impact of US trade measures on the world's second largest economy and described the Trump administration's posturing on trade as the product of an "anxiety disorder".

"The United States with one hand wields the threat of sanctions, and at the same time says they are willing to talk. I'm not sure who the United States is putting on this act for," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters.

The US move last week to threaten China with tariffs on US$50 billion (S$65 billion) in Chinese goods was aimed at forcing Beijing to address alleged theft of US intellectual property and forced technology transfer from US companies.

Beijing claims that Washington is the aggressor and is spurring global protectionism.

None of the measures have yet gone into effect.

A researcher with China's state planning agency said China's economy will see little impact from the trade dispute, as the country's domestic market can compensate for any external impact.

Even with the US tariffs, China can still reach its 2018 GDP growth target of around 6.5 per cent and the impact on employment will be limited, Mr Wang Changlin, a researcher at the National Development and Reform Commission, wrote in a post on the commission's official microblog account.- REUTERS