China warned Tuesday that it will respond to any U.S. trade penalties with countermeasures of the same scale and intensity.
President Donald Trump has threatened to punish China for intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers with around $60 billion in trade tariffs on Chinese goods.
“If they do (impose new tariffs) we will certainly take countermeasures of the same proportion and of the same scale, same intensity,” Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai told Chinese state-run broadcaster CCTV Tuesday, according to The South China Morning Post.
Intellectual property theft is a problem the Trump administration estimates cost the U.S. hundreds of billions of dollars a year, and China is regarded as the worst offender.
Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has accused China of attacking American genius.
China’s latest threat follows a move Monday to impose roughly $3 billion in tariffs on 128 American products in response to the president’s hard-hitting steel and aluminum tariffs.
Beijing has placed a 15 percent tariff on 120 products like fruits, nuts, and wine and a 25 percent on eight additional products, such as pork and recycled aluminum.
It is unclear exactly how China intends to respond to the new trade penalties, but some observers suspect that Beijing may target the $250 billion in deals Chinese President Xi Jinping and Trump negotiated during the latter’s visit to China in November.
Former Chinese finance minister Lou Jiwei has suggested that Beijing may target soybeans.
China could also put the squeeze on American companies like Boeing, Apple and Intel.
China has repeatedly stated that it is not interested in a trade war, but it has also stressed that it will not lose should Washington decide to start one.
“We will fight to the end,” the Chinese Embassy in the U.S. said in a recent statement in response to the president’s trade tariffs. The Chinese foreign ministry reiterated this point Tuesday.
“The US has a list. China also will have a list,” Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters.
Beijing hopes “to resolve the differences in trade with the United States through dialogue and consultation,” he added.
The Trump administration has argued that a trade war is not the desired outcome, but it has asserted that the U.S. will continue to press China for free and fair trade, as well as efforts to decrease the massive $375 billion trade deficit.
A version of this article appeared on The Daily Caller News Foundation website.
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