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  • U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping make joint statements at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

    U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping make joint statements at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. | Photo: Reuters

Published 9 May 2019

"Mentally and materially, China is much better prepared than its U.S. counterpart."

Chinese state media Thursday published and aired reports quoting U.S.-based organizations and individuals critical of Trump's decision to raise tariffs, but played down the impact higher U.S. tariffs would have on the Chinese economy.

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"China is well-prepared for an escalation in trade tensions. A variety of plans are in place, such as countermeasures for any tariff rise, and favorable policies to minimize losses for Chinese enterprises," the Global Times, a tabloid published by the ruling Communist Party's People's Daily, said in an editorial.

"Mentally and materially, China is much better prepared than its U.S. counterpart."

This came in response to United States President Donald Trump tweeting Sunday that he will hike U.S. tariffs by 25 percent on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods by Friday and target hundreds of billions more soon, prior to this week’s negotiations between the two countries.

According to a Reuters report, Trump’s team was upset that Beijing deleted commitments Chinese negotiators had made to change domestic laws in every one of the seven chapters of the nearly 150-page draft text of the agreement, citing U.S. officials and others briefed on the negotiations. The sources said the changes were not shown to the U.S. side until Friday night, via a diplomatic cable.

Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng responded by saying that "China's attitude has been consistent and China will not succumb to any pressure. China has made preparations to respond to all kinds of possible outcomes." He did not elaborate.

Neither side has raised tariffs since both leaders met in Argentina in November 2018 and agreed to a truce while their teams negotiated an end to the trade war. Tariffs on Chinese goods are paid to the United States by the companies importing the goods; most of those companies are U.S.-based

Back in February 2019, the U.S. president decided to delay the increment from 10 to 25 percent trade tariffs on imported Chinese goods, as negotiations and talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping were underway. Yet with the latest statement, the Chinese delegation could decide not to convene because of what is likely to be seen as an escalation by Trump.

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