Trade war fears had receded after the Trump administration said it had reached a deal to put ZTE Corp back in business after banning China's second-biggest telecoms equipment maker from buying USA technology parts for seven years.
"From now on, we expect trading relationships to be fair and to be reciprocal", Donald Trump said in statement.
"After lengthy second round of talks in Washington, the two sides issued a joint statement vowing not to launch a trade war against each other". The order followed a report from the U.S. Trade Representative's office regarding Chinese trade practices and stealing of U.S. intellectual property.
The White House also says the U.S. is planning new investment restrictions and export controls.
"Even if there were, our analysis suggests bilateral tariffs wouldn't move the dial on China's growth".
The White House issued a second statement listing the details of many complaints against China, including dumping of goods into the U.S. market at below market value, high tariffs and overcapacity - likely referring to steel and aluminum, which are subject to another set of harsh USA tariffs.
Washington also said it will press ahead with restrictions on investment by Chinese companies in the United States as well as export controls for goods exported to China.
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Hua gave no indication whether Beijing planned to act on its own threat to retaliate by raising duties on a $50 billion list of American goods including beef and soybeans. "Trade tensions between the USA and China, particularly those surrounding the Section 232 and 301 investigations, have raised serious concerns that such tensions will escalate into a trade war with retaliatory measures from both sides".
A U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that under directions sent to USA embassies and consulates, Chinese graduate students would be limited to one-year visas if they are studying in certain fields, such as robotics, aviation and high-tech manufacturing, AP reported. The tariff threat is unlikely to derail ongoing talks, they said. The dispute began in March, when his administration first threatened to slap tariffs on as much as $50 billion in Chinese shipments to punish Beijing for violating American I.P. rights.
It said the final list of covered imports, worth around $50bn (£38bn), will be published on June 15, with the 25pc tariff imposed shortly after. He said companies hope Beijing can be persuaded to "level the playing field" by easing curbs on foreign investment and business activity in its state-dominated economy.
Given ZTE's dependency on United States technology, his actions brought the Chinese company to the brink of bankruptcy, forcing Xi Jinping to plead for Trump's mercy.
Any Sinologist would tell you that the Anglo-American opium wars were the most traumatic events in China's history and that one of the core tenets of the implicit social contract between the people and the ruling Communist Party is that Chinese leaders must ensure that China never again experiences a new defeat of such magnitude and is never again subjected to the resulting national humiliation.
At the same time, Trump is under pressure from Congress to stay tough on China, especially when it comes to Chinese telecommunications-equipment maker ZTE Corp.