China says trade war 'has not made America great again'

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are embroiled in a trade war. (Photo composite: AFP)
US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are embroiled in a trade war. (Photo composite: AFP)

Washington's escalating trade war with Beijing has not "made America great again" and has instead damaged the American economy, China said on Sunday, stressing that while it wants resolution through talks there will be no compromise on core principles.

Beijing's broadside is the latest act in a bruising conflict between the world's top two economies that has spooked markets and sparked fears about the global economy.

With trade talks stalled, the dispute has intensified in recent weeks with US President Donald Trump imposing fresh tariffs on imports from China and moving to blacklist Chinese tech titan Huawei over national security concerns.

"The (US) tariff measures have not boosted American economic growth. Instead, they have done serious harm to the US economy," the Chinese government said in a white paper, pointing to what it described as increased production costs and consumer prices in the United States and threats to economic growth.

The white paper's release came a day after China hit $60 billion worth of US goods with new punitive tariffs ranging from five to 25%, in retaliation for Washington raising duty on $200 billion in Chinese goods to 25%.

Washington and Beijing resumed their trade battle last month when the latest round of talks ended without a deal, with American negotiators accusing their Chinese counterparts of reneging on previous commitments.

But China said the US should bear "sole and entire responsibility" for the breakdown, accusing Washington of repeatedly changing its demands and of making "reckless" allegations about Beijing's conduct during the negotiations.

The countries have exchanged tit-for-tat tariffs on two-way trade worth hundreds of billions of dollars since Trump fired the first round last year.

With talks stalled, the dispute appears to be spreading beyond tariffs.

Beijing said on Friday it will unveil its own list of "unreliable entities", apparently in response to the US blacklisting of Huawei.

Chinese state media have also dangled the threat of cutting exports of rare earths to the United States - a key resource used in the production of everything from smartphones to military hardware.

There are hopes that Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet at the G20 summit this month to ease tensions and jumpstart trade negotiations.

But Wang Shouwen, Vice Minister of Commerce and Deputy China International Trade Representative, said he had no information when asked about the meeting at a press conference on Sunday.

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