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MNI (London)
Repeats Story Initially Transmitted at 06:12 GMT Sep 25/02:12 EST Sep 25
By Iris Ouyang
     BEIJING (MNI) - China will not resume bilateral trade talks while being
threatened by the U.S., Chinese officials said in Beijing Tuesday, claiming
Washington has not shown enough sincerity in the talks to date.
     "The resumption of the high-level China-U.S. trade negotiations completely
depends on the U.S.," said Wang Shouwen, deputy head of the Ministry of Commerce
and one of the main China trade negotiators with the U.S.
     "China is open to negotiations and talks to tackle trade conflicts," Wang
said, but adding that progress will only come when "the U.S. treats China
equally and with mutual respect."
     --TRUST ISSUES
     "The U.S. has put such large-scale trade restrictions (on China)," Wang
stressed. "Putting a knife on China's neck, how can negotiations keep going? It
is not equal negotiations and talks," he added.
     The officials argued the U.S. is increasingly harming both bilateral
relations and the global economy.
     According to Wang, there is a lack of evidence to suggest the U.S. will
keep its promises even if a trade deal is reached, a second concern preventing
China from continuing talks. 
     The U.S. walked away from an agreement both sides reached in Washington
back in May, causing the Chinese government to increasingly doubt the sincerity
of the Trump administration.
     "Only when the U.S. displays sincerity, treating China equally in
negotiations and keeping its promises, can our negotiations head forward," Wang
said.
     --CONSISTANT MESSAGE
     China's tough stance Tuesday is consistent with the position over previous
months; China does not want to be involved in a trade war but is not afraid of
engaging in one if pushed and is is capable of dealing with any negative impacts
on its economy and companies.
     The officials refuted Washington's argument that the U.S. suffers "unfair
trade" with China, suggesting the argument is "groundless and totally misguided"
as the U.S. gains at the higher end of the value chain.
     Chinese officials argued that U.S. trade action is damaging multilateralism
and the global economic recovery after the financial crisis, along with
disrupting global supply chains. They asserted that healthy bilateral relations
between the world's largest economies benefit both sides.
--MNI Beijing Bureau; +86 (10) 8532-5998; email: iris.ouyang@marketnews.com
--MNI Beijing Bureau; +86-10-8532-5998; email: beijing@marketnews.com
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2225; email: les.commons@marketnews.com
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3812 | les.commons@marketnews.com