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China urges US respect for global trade standards

This file photo shows a view of the headquarters of China's Ministry of Commerce.

China has called on the United States to respect the norms and principles of trade at the international level, saying Washington has to accept the differences between the US and China when it comes to dealing with massive trade deficits.

“China is willing to cooperate with the United States on a basis of equality and mutual benefit,” read part of a speech by an unidentified spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Commerce published on the ministry’s website on Sunday.

The official was apparently reacting to two new orders by US President Donald Trump on Friday which called for an investigation into trade abuses. The executive orders aim to shed light on possible abuses causing large US trade deficits while trying to stop import duty evasion.

The Chinese official said in his speech, which was made on Saturday, that Washington has to consider generally accepted international trade rules and differences between the US and China when it adopts trade enforcement measures.

US President Donald Trump (AFP photo)

China has previously rejected claims that its trade imbalance with the US has been the result of certain policies adopted in Beijing and that China helps the gap to widen. Beijing says the two countries are in two different stages of economic development and the US should accept the differences.

Trump, who vowed in his presidential campaign that he would be tough on China’s trade policies, is due to host Chinese President Xi Jinping this Thursday and Friday. He wrote on his Twitter account last week that issues such as massive trade deficits and American job losses will dominate the meeting which he described as “very difficult.”

The two are also expected to discuss North Korea and China’s ambitions in the South China Sea.

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