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China warns US “opening fire” on world with tariff threats

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Beijing: The United States is “opening fire” on the world with its threatened tariffs, the Chinese government warned on Thursday, saying Beijing will respond the instant US measures go into effect as the two locked horns in a bitter trade war.

The Trump administration’s tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports are due to go into effect at 12.01 am eastern time on Friday (0401 GMT Friday), which is just after midday on Friday Beijing time.

Trade tensions are running high as the calendar moves closer to Friday, when $34 billion in tit-for-tat tariffs are set to go in effect in a trade war between the U.S. and China, with BBQ ribs in the firing line. Conway G.

US President Donald Trump has threatened to escalate the trade conflict with tariffs on as much as a total of $450 billion in Chinese goods if Beijing retaliates, with the row roiling financial markets including stocks, currencies and global trade of commodities from soybeans to coal.

China has said it will not “fire the first shot”, but its customs agency said on Thursday in a short statement that Chinese tariffs on US goods will take effect immediately after Washington’s tariffs on Chinese goods kick in.

Speaking at a weekly news conference, Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng warned the proposed US tariffs would hit international supply chains, including foreign companies in the world’s second-largest economy.“If the US implements tariffs, they will actually be adding tariffs on companies from all countries, including Chinese and US companies,” Gao said.

“US measures are essentially attacking global supply and value chains. To put it simply, the US is opening fire on the entire world, including itself,” he said.

“China will not bow down in the face of threats and blackmail and will not falter from its determination to defend free trade and the multilateral system.”

Asked whether US companies will be targeted with “qualitative measures” in China in a trade war, Gao said the government will protect the legal rights of all foreign companies in the country.

“We will continue to assess the potential impact of the US-initiated trade war on companies and will help companies mitigate possible shocks.”

Gao said China’s foreign trade is expected to continue on a stable path in the second half, though investors fear a full-blown Sino-US trade dispute will deal a body blow to Chinese exports and its economy.

He emphasised that US tariffs on Chinese exports will hurt both Chinese and foreign firms.

 

Foreign companies accounted for $20 billion, or 59 per cent, of the $34 billion of exports from China that will be subject to new tariffs from the US starting from Friday, with US firms accounting for a significant part of that 59 percent, Gao added.

European officials have told Reuters that China has put pressure on the European Union to issue a strong joint statement against US President Donald Trump’s trade policies, but so far they have insisted on not taking sides..

Chinese stocks were mixed while the yuan slipped slightly against the dollar in early Thursday trading as a targeted cut of reserve requirements for banks took effect amid heightened the trade tensions.

 

 


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International

Pakistan Army chief holds talks with Chinese counterpart on CPEC, defence tie

Press Trust of India

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Beijing :Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa held talks with his Chinese counterpart Gen Han Weiguo on the security of the multi-billion CPEC, defence cooperation, as well as regional and bilateral issues.
The meeting of Bajwa, who arrived at Beijing on a three-day official visit on Sunday, comes days after Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi’s visit to Islamabad during which he held a comprehensive round of talks with Khan and Bajwa among others.
Both China and Pakistan’s new government led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan denied reports of differences over the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
China subsequently announced expansion of the CPEC projects to western regions of Pakistan in an apparent move to address criticism by Khan in the past against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s government that most of the Chinese-funded projects were garnered by the dominant Punjab province.
India has protested to China on the CPEC as it traversed through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
While there is not much coverage in the official media in China, a statement by Pakistan Army’s media wing Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that Gen. Han “appreciated and acknowledged high professional standing of Pakistan Army displayed while combating terrorism”.
He also appreciated the level of security being provided to the CPEC by Pakistan Army. Over 10,000 Chinese workers are said to be working in CPEC projects in Pakistan.
The security for them is provided by the Special Security Division comprising 15,000 troops, including 9,000 Pakistan Army soldiers and 6,000 paramilitary forces personnel.
On terrorism related issues, China has been pressing Pakistan to crack down hard on Uyghur militants of the East Turkistan Islamic Movement from the restive Xinjaing province.
The Chinese General expressed his keen desire to benefit from Pakistan Army’s combat experience and also expand bilateral cooperation, the ISPR added.
Bajwa’s visit assumes significance as Wang during his visit had praised the Pakistani military’s role in the close ties between the two countries, saying that it is a “staunch guardian of China-Pakistan friendship”.
The CPEC, a flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative launched in 2015, is a planned network of roads, railways and energy projects linking China’s resource-rich Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region with Pakistan’s strategic Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea.

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Moon Jae-in, Kim Jong-un sign summit agreement in Pyongyang

Agencies

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Pyongyang: South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un signed an agreement at the end of their summit talks here on Wednesday.
The agreement was signed at a ceremony held at the North`s state guesthouse Paekhwawon and broadcast live in Seoul.
Details of the agreement signed by the leaders were not immediately available, Yonhap news agency reported.
Yoon Young-chan, Moon`s top press secretary, earlier said the two leaders would hold a joint press conference to announce the outcome of their third bilateral summit, which began on Tuesday.
The countries also signed a fresh military agreement that is widely believed to be aimed at further reducing tension between the divided Koreas.
Details of the military agreement, signed by the countries` defence chiefs, were also not available.

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Search on for victims, death toll rises to 74

Philippines typhoon

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Itogon (Cordillera Administrative Region): Hundreds of Philippine rescuers used shovels and their bare hands to sift through a massive landslide where dozens are feared dead in the region worst-hit by deadly Typhoon Mangkhut, as the storm’s toll hit 74.
The storm, 2018’s most powerful, smashed homes and flooded key agricultural regions in the northern Philippines before battering Hong Kong and southern China with fierce winds and heavy rain.
Hong Kong was still struggling to get back on its feet with a massive clean-up operation to clear broken trees, repair torn-up roads and fix damaged power lines.
The violent typhoon killed four in China’s southern province of Guangdong and the toll climbed on Tuesday to 74 on the Philippines’ northern Luzon island according to police, with that number expected to rise.
Up to 40 people are still feared buried in the landslide in Itogon, unleashed Saturday as the typhoon stalled over the area and dumped a month’s worth of rain in a matter of hours.
“While I said there is a 99-percent chance that all of them are dead, there is still that one-percent chance,” local Mayor Victorio Palangdan told AFP.
“The rescue effort will continue until the president orders us to stop,” he said.
Because the slide destroyed roads, authorities have been unable to bring heavy equipment into the area to accelerate the search. As a result the teams were using human chains to extract debris.
The area was primed for disaster before Mangkhut hit, as it came on the heels of nearly a month of continuous monsoon rains that left the already hazardous area soggy and dangerously loose.
Almost all the storm’s victims were killed in dozens of landslides unleashed along the Cordillera mountain range, a key gold mining area.

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