|Desiree Sison |||Jan 20, 2017 06:55 AM EST|
(Photo : Getty Images) Beijing has said it would not take Trump's bullying sitting down and has vowed to hit back if he starts a trade war
China is preparing retaliatory measures it would take in the face of a possible trade war with the incoming administration of US President-elect Donald Trump.
Although China's President Xi Jinping, in his speech at the annual Davos World Economic Forum this week, warned that nobody would benefit from a trade war, the Chinese government is said to be quietly getting ready for one.
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In a news conference on Wednesday, the American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham) said that Beijing is prepared for the eventuality of a trade war with the new Trump administration.
"China is threatening to, and is preparing to, take steps in retaliation," said Lester Ross, chairman of the policy committee of AmCham.
China's Ministry of Commerce had earlier downplayed Trump's repeated rhetoric against Beijing. Shen Danyang, a spokesman for China's trade ministry, had insisted that the power transition in Washington would not affect Sino-US ties which he described as "interdependent."
Despite assurances from Shen, Ross said Beijing had been quietly making retaliatory moves against Washington after it announced last week that it was raising taxes on imported dried grains from the US.
China's Ministry of Commerce had also raised its anti-dumping tax on imports from the US from 38 percent to between 42.2 and 53.7 percent.
The ministry pointed out that China's refusal to engage in a war of words with Trump over trade does not mean it would take his bullying sitting down.
"This is a way of saying, 'We don't want to get into a row with you, but we will take action,' " Mei Zinyun, a researcher at the ministry, said. "Trump will need to pay the price should he want more trade friction."
Trump had attacked China early on in his presidential campaign, calling Beijing a "thief" and a "currency manipulator." He vowed to slap a 45 percent tariff on all imported China-made goods as punishment for the country's alleged "unfair trade practices" if he becomes president.
The US president-elect recently picked hardline critics of China to head a trade council, signaling the start of a complicated relationship between the two sides under Trump, according to Mei.
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