China vows to fight U.S. “at any cost’ as trade tensions worsen

Washington: China vowed on Friday to fight the U.S. “at any cost” after President Trump proposed slapping an additional $100 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods in an escalating trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.
Mr. Trump’s surprise move Thursday to instruct the U.S. trade representative to consider the additional tariffs came a day after Beijing announced plans to tax $50 billion in American products, including soybeans and small aircraft, in response to a U.S. move this week to slap tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports.
In Beijing, the Commerce Ministry said China doesn’t want a trade war – but isn’t afraid to fight one.
“China will dedicate itself to the end and at any cost and will definitely fight back firmly” if the U.S. persists in its “protectionism,” the ministry said in a statement.
“This latest intimidation reflects the deep arrogance of some American elites in their attitude towards China,” the state-run Global Times said in an editorial, according to the Reuters news service.
Mr. Trump’s proposal intensified what was already shaping up to be the biggest trade battle since World War II. Global financial markets had fallen sharply as the world’s two biggest economies squared off over Beijing’s aggressive trade tactics. But they had calmed down Wednesday and Thursday on hopes the U.S. and China would find a diplomatic solution.
Instead, the White House announced after the markets closed Thursday that the president had instructed the Office of the United States Trade Representative to consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate and, if so, to identify which products they should apply to. He’s also instructed his secretary of agriculture “to implement a plan to protect our farmers and agricultural interests.”
“China’s illicit trade practices – ignored for years by Washington – have destroyed thousands of American factories and millions of American jobs,” Mr. Trump said in a statement announcing the decision.
The latest escalation comes after the U.S. on Tuesday said it would impose 25 percent duties on $50 billion of imports from China, and China quickly retaliated by listing $50 billion of products that it could hit with its own 25 percent tariffs.