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  • Donald Trump and Xi Jinping meet at an economic forum in Beijing

    Donald Trump and Xi Jinping meet at an economic forum in Beijing | Photo: Reuters

Published 2 June 2019

“If the U.S. side wants to use extreme pressure, to escalate the trade friction, to force China to submit and make concessions, this is absolutely impossible,” said Wang, who has been part of China’s negotiating team.

The U.S. cannot use pressure to force China into a trade deal that favors Washington, a senior Chinese official and trade negotiator said on Sunday, refusing to be drawn on whether the leaders of the two countries would meet at the G20 summit to bash out an agreement.

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Since Trump's tariff threats last month, China has taken the offensive against the U.S. administration, threatening to halt the sale of rare earths to Washington.

Washington later slapped additional tariffs of up to 25% on $200 billion of Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to retaliate.

Speaking at a hastily arranged news conference, Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen said it was irresponsible of the United States to accused China of backtracking.

“If the U.S. side wants to use extreme pressure, to escalate the trade friction, to force China to submit and make concessions, this is absolutely impossible,” said Wang, who has been part of China’s negotiating team.

Switching into English, he said: “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”.

Trump has said he is going to meet with President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Osaka at the end of the month, though China has consistently refused to say they have agreed to this.

Wang was equally taciturn.

“I don’t have any information on this to provide,” he said, when asked if Xi would meet Trump in Japan.

The United States overestimates the trade deficit between the two countries and China should not be blamed for job losses in the U.S. manufacturing sector, Wang said.

The U.S. goods and services deficit with China is actually closer to $150 billion and not the $410 billion quoted by U.S. officials. China’s processing trade with the United States should not be included in trade deficit calculations, he added.

Wang also said China does not instruct domestic companies to acquire certain projects and technology. The U.S. has complained about Chinese theft of intellectual property, which Beijing has called a “political tool” to suppress China’s development.

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