On Friday, the Chinese commerce ministry threatened to unveil a laundry list of foreign firms, groups, and individuals that would be kept on notice, in reprisal of the recent tariffs on imported U.S. goods.
Beijing did not reveal any specific country or company that would be targeted in the threat. The Ministry said that this list of business groups would include those who may misspeak on their contracts, sabotage the interests of Chinese companies, and threaten China’s national security.
After the U.S. blacklisted Huawei, a telecoms equipment giant, earlier this month, this announcement could intensify the relationship between the two global giants.
Earlier this month, the U.S. tacked additional tariffs as high as 25% on USD 200 Billion of Chinese products. In response, Beijing imposed levis on a bulk of American imported goods on a list worth USD 60 Million list, which will be effective on Saturday.
Dai Xianglong, the head of the People’s Bank of China from 1995 to 2002, stated that China’s tactics towards business is cooperative and promotes proactivity, but the American approach to trade had been “bullying and America first”.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, said, “This is neither the first nor second time the U.S. side has said these lies, but the U.S. side seems to be very persistent, even obsessed with it, and is still repeating these lies.”
While Beijing accused the U.S. of trade dishonesty and being an oppressor in trade talks, the U.S. also accused China of reneging on a promise to alter its economic practices. However, China’s forewarnings should not be taken lightly, especially. Wei Shuang, former Chinese vice commerce minister, said at the seminar on Friday that starting a trade quarrel would be disastrous for the American economy.
Many Chinese political figures and state media have spoken out on the possible severity of a counteroffensive. Wei also stated, “There are lots of Chinese countermeasures, and, speaking honestly, we hope not to use them, because we always negotiate with the United States with sincerity and hope to achieve results.”
These countermeasures may include China accelerating its growth in the electronic development field by using its rare earths and minerals, said The People’s Daily.
“U.S. car components companies have presence in China, and set China as a global manufacturing base. The escalation of the trade war between China and the United States will seriously affect their development in China and the world,” said a former executive director at the China Association of Automotive, Dong Yang. He moreover stated that there are strong substitutes for U.S. measures such as Germany, Japan, South Korea, and France.
Many of these Chinese officials who spoke out also mentioned that they hope the meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at next month’s G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan would take place, although it will be hard to see any major progress towards a compromise.