China poured cold water on hopes for a trade deal, signaling it would retaliate against the U.S. threat to put Chinese tech companies on a blacklist, just two days ahead of the highly-anticipated trade talks in Washington.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Tuesday “stay tuned,” when asked whether China would retaliate over the blacklist over alleged human rights violations against Muslim minorities.
“We urge the U.S. to immediately correct its mistake, withdraw the relevant decision and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs,” Geng said at a press conference according to a transcript on the foreign ministry’s website. “China will continue to take firm and forceful measures to resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests.”
The comments deepened the tensions between the two economic superpowers before they resume high-level trade talks on Thursday. The White House is also reportedly discussing blocking government pension funds from investing in China, further dimming the expectations for a resolution. White House trade policy director Peter Navarro denied the reports however, calling them “fake news.”