China sends trade war warning as Donald Trump's tariff deadline looms


China has warned the United States that any agreements reached on trade and business between the two countries will be void if Washington implements tariffs and other trade measures, as the two ended their latest round of talks in Beijing.

"Trump's strategy does no favors for the moderates like trade negotiator Liu He who are eager to take China down a more manageable path of market and financial reforms, and such reforms would indeed be good for USA commercial interests", said James Zimmerman, a partner in the Beijing office of the law firm Perkins Coie and a former chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China.

But this time no joint statement was issued.

The US says it has United States dollars 375 billion trade deficit in USD 636 billion total trade past year.

While details are still being finalised, both countries worked to implement the consensus reached from earlier trade talks in Washington in various fields such as agriculture and energy, which Beijing says will be void if US President Donald Trump imposes in trade sanctions to keep up pressure.

Last week the White House announced it would impose curbs on Chinese investment and purchases of US high-tech goods and on visas for Chinese students.

The White House also said it will pursue tighter restrictions on Chinese investments and enhance export controls to protect USA technology and intellectual property.

Private sector analysts say Beijing may be willing to trim its trade surplus, but it will resist changes that might threaten its plans to transform China into a global technology competitor.

"All economic and trade outcomes of the talks will not take effect if the United States side imposes any trade sanctions including raising tariffs", the statement said.

Beijing said the two sides had made "positive and concrete progress" on matters like increasing agricultural and energy imports but said details were left for "both sides to finalise".

The two-day talks in Beijing which ended on Sunday followed an earlier round in Washington where officials had met to discuss the situation.

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But Trump upended the truce last Tuesday by renewing his threat to impose 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese high-tech goods. "The attitude of the Chinese side remains consistent".

The purchases are partly aimed at shrinking the $375 billion USA goods trade deficit with China.

While many countries share US frustration with Chinese trade and economic practices, critics of USA policy under Trump have warned that Washington risks alienating the European Union, Canada and Mexico with 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent on aluminum.

Liu offered the United States team a "special welcome" to Beijing for the talks.

The previous round of talks in Washington saw China pledging "significant increase" in its purchases of U.S. agricultural goods.

There was no immediate comment or statement from the US delegation or from Ross himself.

The U.S. government has said a team of commerce, treasury and agriculture officials were in Beijing to make preparations.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Saturday the USA wants to see "structural changes" in the Chinese economy.

Beijing warned all the commitments it had made so far were premised on "not fighting a trade war".

In addition to tariffs, Ross is also under pressure from US lawmakers to stay tough on Chinese telecom-equipment maker ZTE Corp. Germany is also hoping its steel exports to the U.S. will be exempted from sanctions.