US backtracks on commitments in China-US trade consultations: white paper

US can’t use pressure to bend Beijing's knee on a trade deal, warns China

China bought about 14 million tonnes of US soybeans from December as part of a temporary truce in the trade spat between the world's top two economies.

The Department also noted that the President directed the USTR to challenge China's unfair trade practices at the World Trade Organisation but also to impose tariffs on China to offset the damage to USA industry caused by China's conduct.

The statement said the U.S. was "disappointed" the Chinese had chosen in recent public statements "to pursue a blame game misrepresenting the nature and history of trade negotiations between the two countries". The Trump administration has imposed 25% tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports and is planning to tax the $300 billion in imports that have so far been spared.

On Tuesday, China's Ministry of Commerce did say that the trade conflict with the U.S. will ultimately need to be resolved through further talks but reiterated some of the points that it had made over the weekend.

In response to the economic and trade friction unilaterally initiated by the US, China said it had to take forceful measures to defend the interests of the nation and its people.

The agencies, which have taken the lead in negotiations for the US side, said that the impetus for the negotiations was China's "long history of unfair trade practices" and USA negotiating positions have been consistent throughout the talks.

It is unclear exactly how many U.S. companies do business with China, but the American Chambers of Commerce (AmCham) in Beijing and Shanghai count more than 2,000 member firms between them. The State Council Information Office released the white paper, titled China's Position on the China-US Economic and Trade Consultations, on Sunday.

After receiving and considering extensive hearing testimony and other evidence over an investigation that lasted seven months, the United States issued a 200-page report in March 2018 documenting how China had engaged in unfair trade practices, including forced technology transfer, failed to protect American intellectual property rights, and conducted and supported cyber-theft from American companies, robbing them of sensitive commercial information and trade secrets, the statement read.

The paper listed, in chronological order, three times when the USA backtracked on a deal.

It added, "China will not compromise on major issues of principle".

The key message is that China is willing to work together with the United States to find solutions, said Ding Shuang, chief China and North Asia economist at Standard Chartered Bank Hong Kong. However, the white paper said the White House demanded more as they were given new offers from their Chinese counterparts.

The US and China have been involved in a proverbial trade war since US president Donald Trump took office.

"Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed", Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen, who led China's working-level team in the negotiations, said in Beijing June 2.

The US government accusation of Chinese backtracking is totally groundless. Disputes and conflicts on the trade and economic front, at the end of the day, need to be solved through dialogue and consultation, the white paper said.

No talks have been scheduled since the last round ended in May, and it remains unclear whether Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping will meet when they both attend the G20 leaders summit later this month in Japan.

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