China says ready for trade war as President Trump tariffs loom

US is disrupting peace in South China Sea, says Beijing

He said China would work with the other members to help the group "meet worldwide expectations, take a clearer stand on major worldwide and regional issues and play a more active role in regional cooperation and global economic governance".

"Contrary to the claim made by some academics and media outlets that the Indo-Pacific strategy aims to contain China, the four countries' official position is that it targets no one".

China deserves credit for fostering the improved atmosphere, Wang said, pointing to Beijing's "freeze-for-freeze" proposal whereby the North would halt tests while the USA held off holding military exercises with South Korea.

"I hope they mean what they say and their action will match their rhetoric". "Let us not forget the BRI has received the support of over 100 countries".

Wang spoke as 3,000 members of China's mostly ceremonial national legislature have gathered for their annual meeting in Beijing, where they are set to grant President Xi Jinping a almost limitless mandate to realise his vision of a resurgent China.

He claimed that China's proposed "double suspension" strategy has been proven to be fundamental thus far, citing North Korea's recent suspension of nuclear weapon tests and the US and South Korea halting their joint military drills in the region. "The outcome will only be harmful", Wang said.

The new tariffs take effect in 15 days, with Canada and Mexico indefinitely spared "to see if we can make the deal", Trump said, referring to a possible renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Wang said China and the United States did not have to be rivals, and history showed that trade wars were not the correct way to resolve problems.

More news: Thursday's National Basketball Association roundup: Brown hurt in Celtics' win

Meanwhile, a recent report by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, a USA think tank, said China has completed the construction of a large communications/sensor array on Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands, which could be used for intelligence gathering.

The economist said United States protectionism risk clouds the outlook.

The US worldwide trade in goods and services deficit jumped 5% in January to the highest point in nearly ten years.

USA imports from China of steel and aluminium make up a small proportion of its total imports from the world's second largest economy.

"In the event of a trade war, China will make a justified and necessary response", Wang said. "We hope China and the USA will have a calm and constructive dialogue as equals, and find a win-win solution". "This conclusion is fundamentally wrong", Wang said.

Despite elements of competition, China-U.S. ties are defined more by partnership, not rivalry, he added. President Trump tweeted hours before Wang's comments.

Xi, who is in his second five-year term, is regarded as the most powerful leader as he heads the ruling Communist Party and the military.

"The foreign ministry issued more than 1,000 travel advisories past year, which significantly reduced the citizens' risk exposure even before they travel overseas", Wang said.

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