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China says it will not ‘surrender’ in the trade war and ‘has enough fuel to drive its economy even if a trade war is prolonged’

Matt Linden

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SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China will not buckle to US demands in any trade negotiations, the major state-run China Daily newspaper said in an editorial on Friday, after Chinese officials welcomed an invitation from Washington for a new round of talks.

China and the United States are set to return to the table with the threat of new US tariffs looming after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin extended the invitation to counterparts in Beijing.

The official China Daily said that while China was “serious” about resolving the stand-off through talks, it would not be rolled over, despite concerns over a slowing economy and a falling stock market at home.

“The Trump administration should not be mistaken that China will surrender to the US demands. It has enough fuel to drive its economy even if a trade war is prolonged,” the newspaper said in an editorial.

If the United States imposed new levies on Chinese imports then Beijing “will not hesitate to take countermeasures against US tariffs to safeguard China’s interests,” it added.

US President Trump said on Twitter on Thursday that the United States holds the upper hand in talks.

“We are under no pressure to make a deal with China, they are under pressure to make a deal with us,” Trump tweeted. “Our markets are surging, theirs are collapsing.”

The US administration is readying a final list of $200 billion in Chinese imports on which it plans to levy tariffs of 10-25% in coming days, which would ramp up the trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters on Thursday that China welcomed the invitation, and the two countries were discussing the details.

A meeting among Cabinet-level officials could ease market worries over the escalating tariff war that threatens to engulf all trade between the world’s two largest economies and raise costs for companies and consumers.

However, the last round of talks, between mid-level US and Chinese officials in August, failed to reach any agreement.

(Reporting by Adam Jourdan; editing by Richard Pullin)

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