Chinese Premier Li Keqiang appealed to Washington on Tuesday to “act rationally” and avoid disrupting trade over steel, technology and other disputes, promising that Beijing will “open even wider” to imports and investment.
“No one will emerge a winner from a trade war,” said Li, the No. 2 Chinese leader, at a news conference held during the meeting of China’s ceremonial legislature.
Li made no mention of a possible Chinese response in the event U.S. President Donald Trump raises import barriers over trade complaints against Beijing, but other officials say President Xi Jinping’s government is ready to act.
Trump’s government already has raised import duties on Chinese-made washing machines and other goods to offset what it says are improper subsidies and is investigating whether Beijing pressures foreign companies to hand over technology, which might lead to trade penalties. That has prompted fears of Chinese retaliation.
“What we hope is for us to act rationally rather than being led by emotions,” said Li. “We don’t want to see a trade war.”
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