Friday, 21 Feb 2020

Trump looks to the sky, says he is ‘the chosen one’ to fight China trade war

“I am the chosen one,” U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters on Wednesday after being asked about the country’s trade war with China.

The president made the comments outside the White House, while looking up at the sky. He told reporters that his life would be easier had he not mounted a trade war with the country, but added the U.S. will likely make a deal with China.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Beijing appealed to Washington to “meet China halfway” and end a tariff war.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, expressed hope that Washington would restore “mutually beneficial” trade.

The United States has been pressuring China to narrow its trade surplus and roll back plans for government-led development of global competitors in robotics and other technologies.

Beijing’s trading partners say those plans violate its market-opening commitments. Some American officials worry they might erode U.S. industrial leadership.

Amid the tensions, the U.S. has imposed 25 per cent tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese products. Beijing retaliated with its own penalties on $110 billion of goods from the United States.

Recent talks between the countries have not shown signs of progress, and another meeting is scheduled for next month.

A day earlier, Trump pushed aside worries that the China trade dispute could lead to financial woes for the U.S.

Trump said on Tuesday that the question of whether the U.S. might be pushed into a recession was irrelevant.

“Whether it’s good or bad short-term is irrelevant,” he said. “We have to solve the problem with China.”

The president noted that the U.S. is “very far from a recession” but that he is considering tax changes to spur economic growth.

Tensions between the U.S. and China are also growing amid protests in Hong Kong.

On Monday, U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence poked China on the sensitive topic, calling on Beijing to respect the integrity of the former British colony’s laws in its response to mass protests there.

— With files from the Associated Press, Reuters

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