The Chinese government wants the world to know that it is not just upset about a brewing trade war with the United States. It claims that the United States cannot use tariffs to level the playing field as the Trump administration believes it can because such actions are “doomed to be futile.”
The comments come from the Ministry of Commerce and were reported in the government-controlled People’s Daily. The Chinese government is unwilling to give up on diplomacy, even as it threatens tariffs of its own.
A Ministry of Commerce office was quoted as saying:
We always believe, bad things can be turned into good things, and challenges can be converted into opportunities. We have full confidence in achieving the high-quality economic development target.
In other comments published in the People’s Daily, the government was less conciliatory:
China on Friday announced its decision to impose additional tariffs of four different rates on 5,207 items of imported U.S. products worth 60 billion U.S. dollars. The rates of additional tariffs on such products will be 25 percent, 20 percent, 10 percent, and 5 percent, according to the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council.
China has adopted a two-pronged approach against the U.S. trade threat. However, the dual efforts do not totally negate one another. China hopes, as the United States does, that harsh tariffs will bring both parties to the bargaining table.
Via its comments to the People’s Daily, the government wants the outside world to look at efforts by the United States as “futile.” It does, however, want to talk.