China-US trade war would produce no winners, only catastrophe, Beijing says

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China does not want a trade war with the United States that would be disaster for the world, Commerce Minister Zhong Shan said Sunday, three days after U.S. President Donald Trump declared he would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

"A trade war will only bring disaster to China, the United States and the global economy".

Mr Zhong, speaking on the sidelines of China's annual session of Parliament, said China does not want a trade war and will not initiate one.

Trump said Thursday that he was slapping tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum, temporarily exempting big steel producers Canada and Mexico.

China has threatened to retaliate against increased trade barriers in the past but has yet to announce any new measures in response to Trump's tariffs.

China has repeatedly vowed to defend its "legitimate rights and interests" if targeted by USA trade actions.

Beijing and Washington have agreed to hold talks in Beijing in the near future to discuss economic and trade matters.

Mysuru Division of South Western Railway celebrates Women's Day
This would be the first time in East Central Railway's history that every post at a railway station would be taken over by women personnel.

Part of the reason for the trade gap, Zhong said, was that the USA had restricted hi-tech exports to China.

USA officials have said such sales would make up only a few percent of the deficit while possibly threatening American national security.

Trade tensions between the world's two largest economies are widely expected to intensify this year as Washington's trade policy with Beijing is influenced by hardliners such as White House trade adviser Peter Navarro and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

Trade tensions between China and the USA have risen since Mr Trump took office.

China absorbed $136.3 billion in foreign investment previous year. Surveys by business groups show companies are shifting emphasis to other Asian economies seen as more profitable or less restrictive. "The fact that they have complaints indicates that they are still paying attention to China's development and have confidence in China's market".

More than 140 countries have participated in or responded to the initiative since it was proposed by China in 2013, said the minister.