China Strikes Defiant Stance on Trade Against Trump – The New York Times

The paper was released less than a month after Mr. Trump raised tariffs on Chinese-made products and threatened to impose still more after accusing China of backing away from its earlier commitments. It also follows the announcement three weeks ago that the Trump administration would restrict Huawei, a Chinese telecommunications company that the United States considers a security threat, from access to essential American-made technology like chips and software.

Mr. Wang called the Huawei move a “severe setback” for negotiations between the two countries, saying it had “unduly escalated trade frictions.”

Beyond its own retaliatory tariffs, China has made no specific threats about how it might respond. Still, through official appearances and commentaries in the state-run news media, Beijing has suggested that it could target American companies that source key components in their supply chain from China, like the minerals known as the rare earths that are used to power batteries and smartphones.

Stressing the point, Mr. Wang told reporters on Sunday that while China “has the biggest reserves of rare-earth metals, and we would like to meet the justified demands,” it would be “unacceptable” for other countries to use the minerals to contain China’s development.

In apparent retaliation for the ban on selling American technology to Huawei, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said on Friday that it was putting together a list of foreign companies, individuals and organizations that it considered “unreliable,” without providing any details of which companies or entities the list would include or what the punishment would be.

The announcement sent many American companies scrambling to determine whether they might be considered for the list and what the ramifications would be.

Some American companies are already feeling official pressure. Over the weekend, the Chinese state news media reported that the government was investigating FedEx over what the reports said were “wrongful delivery of packages.” The issue is a sensitive one because American intelligence officials have hacked Huawei equipment in the past, leading to concerns among Chinese officials that Chinese-made equipment could be intercepted.


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