China issues trade war warning to US

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Economic penalties on Beijing only disrupt the global supply chain, China’s commerce chief said

China has raised “serious concerns” over US tariffs targeting its semiconductor industry and wider tech sector, warning that such measures violate the principles of fair competition, and harm the stability of world trade.

Speaking after a round of talks with US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo in Beijing on Monday, Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao said that while the two sides had “candid and constructive” dialogue, ongoing US restrictions were continuing to hamper trade ties.

Wang “raised serious concerns about issues including the US Section 301 tariffs on Chinese goods, its semiconductor policies, restrictions of two-way investment, discriminatory subsidies, and sanctions on Chinese enterprises,” the ministry said in a press release.

The official went on to argue that Washington has abused the “concept of national security” to justify new tariffs and sanctions, stating that “unilateral and protectionist measures run counter to market rules and the principle of fair competition, and will only harm the security and stability of the global industrial and supply chains.” Noting that US officials have repeatedly said they do not seek “decoupling with China,” Wang urged the United States to “match its words with actions.”

US tariffs on Chinese goods were hiked significantly under President Donald Trump, who launched the first volley in a tit-for-tat trade war starting in 2018. A similarly hostile approach has continued under his successor, Joe Biden, who has adopted several policies aimed at the Chinese economy.

Late last year, the White House published a new set of export controls, seeking to prevent Chinese firms from buying semiconductors produced using US equipment anywhere in the world. The US Treasury added dozens of Chinese tech companies to a trade blacklist just weeks later, while more recent reports say US officials are considering additional restrictions on artificial intelligence-related tech, apparently hoping to sever Beijing from the fast-developing sector.

US officials have repeatedly labeled China as America’s top “competitor,” accusing Chinese firms of a range of nefarious actions, including theft of US intellectual property and even espionage on American citizens. Beijing has denied such charges, insisting Washington is targeting Chinese businesses for its own economic gain using “national security” as a pretext.

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