Wang Shouwen said Thursday that the US was to blame for a trade war between Washington and Beijing because it was the US that started the bitter friction by introducing tariffs on Chinese products.
He said China’s reciprocal move to slap tariffs on US goods was justified in light of continued US threats for more duties on Chinese products, Presstv Reported.
“We have had talks and those talks produced good progress but this progress was ignored by one party and that party went ahead with a trade war,” Wang said while in Geneva to represent China during the country's policy review at the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Wang said if the US wanted any ease in the dispute, it needed to keep its words and “take the gun off” China’s head.
“For any talk to be successful, one party needs to take the gun off the head of the other party ... one party needs to be keeping its words. If one side keeps chopping and changing all the time the talk would be pointless,” said Wang.
China said Tuesday that it would swiftly retaliate if the US wanted to enforce further tariffs worth USD 200 billion on Chinese goods. Up to now, the two countries have introduced duties on 34 billion worth of each other’s imports.
Some senior members of US President Donald Trump’s Republican Party have criticized him for the spiraling trade row with China, saying it could hurt the US industries. They have called on Trump to hold direct talks with Beijing to find a solution.
The US and China have also clashed over how the WTO should be reformed to include changes that could meet the current status of global trade.
The US envoy to the WTO, Dennis Shea, repeated Trump’s accusations that China was being treated too kindly by the WTO.
Wang mocked Shea’s assertions on Wednesday that the WTO was offering China benefits that should be reserved for poor nations.
“I think the statement that says WTO (rules) are insufficient to deal with problems from China is a statement of exaggeration," said Wang, adding, "WTO is not perfect ... If there is need for improvement of the rules China is happy to discuss with all other WTO members.”