Is Trump Serious About Trade War? China's Leaders Hunt for Answers

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"China attaches great importance to developing relations with India and we would like to work together to implement the consensus reached by leaders, stick to the right path of the bilateral ties, accumulate more positive energy, explore new areas for cooperation and ensure sound and steady development of bilateral ties", Hua added.

Data released by the General Administration of Customs showed that the surplus with the United States jumped 19.4% to US$58 billion between January and March compared to the same period past year.

Retail sales are projected to have increased 9.7 percent in March, matching readings in the first two months, while industrial production rose 6.4 percent, a slowdown from January and February, according to economist estimates. China says the Taiwan Travel Act violates USA commitments not to restore formal exchanges severed when Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.

Trump's move last week to threaten China with tariffs on $50 billion (£35.2 billion) in Chinese goods was aimed at forcing Beijing to address what Washington says is deeply entrenched theft of US intellectual property and forced technology transfers from USA companies.

But analysts said the trade threats may already be having an impact on exporters' activity.

"We hope both China and the USA can solve the disputes with wisdom and respect, in a constructive way", Spokesman Huang said. But the rise in imports was steeper, at almost 19 percent.

During Trump's first year in office the surplus reached record highs - $375 billion by U.S. counting, or $276 billion according to Chinese data. This comes amid rising trade tensions between the 2 countries.

- Small enterprises witnessed a particularly strong increase in manufacturing activities, as the PMI for small manufacturers jumped to 50.1 in March from 44.8 in February.


China protested the war games and described them as the interference of the United States in the region.

Five years since its establishment and as an important carrier to fulfilling the initiative for building a community with a shared future for mankind, as well as an global cooperation platform for all countries across the world, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), has become the most welcomed worldwide public product.

Concerns of a trade war have been rumbling since last month after Trump threatened a series of tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods, sparking tit-for-tat warnings from Beijing.

China's exports rode a global trade boom a year ago, expanding at the fastest pace since 2013 and serving as one of the key drivers behind the economy's forecast-beating 6.9 percent expansion.

Total trade between the two nations rose 13% during the quarter, China's data showed, but the first shots in the latest trade spat were not likely to be felt in the recording period.

"We hope both China and the USA can solve the disputes with wisdom and respect", Huang Songping, a spokesman for the customs administration, said last Friday at a briefing in Beijing.

On Tuesday, the Chinese premier promised at a news conference Beijing will "open even wider" to imports and investment as part of efforts to make its state-dominated economy more productive. China exported $137.8 billion worth of high-tech products in the first quarter, up 20.5 percent on-year.

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