China vows to hit back as US trade sanctions loom

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump is poised to unveil sanctions against China today for the “theft” of US intellectual property, fuelling fears of a trade war as Beijing vowed to retaliate.

White House spokesman Raj Shah told AFP that Trump will announce actions following an “investigation into China’s state-led, market-distorting efforts to force, pressure, and steal US technologies and intellectual property”.

According to his schedule, released by the White House on Wednesday evening, he will sign “a Presidential Memorandum targeting China’s economic aggression”.

The Chinese commerce ministry issued a pre-emptive warning, saying in a statement today that Beijing “will certainly take all necessary measures to resolutely defend its legitimate rights and interests”.

China today blamed US export restrictions for its record trade surplus with the US, but expressed hope that a solution can be found to settle trade issues between the world’s two biggest economies.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said it was unfair to throw around criticism about unfair trade if the US won’t sell to China what it wants to buy, referring to US export controls on some high-tech products.

“How many soybeans should China buy that are equal to one Boeing aircraft? Or, if China buys a certain number of Boeing aircraft should the US buy an equal number of C919s?” Hua said, mentioning China’s new self-developed passenger jet.

However, China still hopes it can hold constructive talks with the US in a spirit of mutual respect to seek a win-win solution, she added. – Agencies