The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Friday reaffirmed its position on recent U.S. trade moves, saying that China will fight to the end in any trade war.
Hua Chunying said at a daily news briefing that China urges the United States to make rational and prudent decisions.
Despite strong warnings from business groups and trade experts, U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday signed a memorandum that could impose tariffs on up to 60 billion U.S. dollars of imports from China and restrictions on Chinese investment in the United States.
Meanwhile, a White House trade adviser told reporters that retaliation could be difficult for China.
In response, Hua said these remarks misjudged the situation, underestimated China's determination and capability to safeguard its legitimate interests, and underestimated the price the United States would have to pay for its arbitrary actions.
Hua said the United States imported low-cost, labor-intensive products from China in large quantities, which considerably lowered the consumption costs for U.S. consumers, increased consumers' surplus. This in fact improved consumers' welfare and also helped the U.S. to curb inflation in the larger sense.
As such, the U.S. has benefited greatly from trade with China both at the micro and macro level, Hua said, adding that the US' persistence in advancing the Section 301 investigation and publishing the so-called findings to pick a trade war will undoubtedly undermine the interests of U.S. consumers, enterprises and financial market directly.
Noting that the U.S. stocks ended sharply lower on Thursday, Hua said it was a vote of no confidence to relevant wrong policies and moves of the U.S. side by the financial market.
Maintaining sound and steady China-U.S. economic and trade relations will be conducive to upholding global economic stability and normal international trade order, she said.
Relevant issues should be properly resolved through constructive dialogue and consultation, which is in the interests of both sides, Hua said.
When asked whether a trade war would harm China's domestic development, Hua said the Chinese government has clearly identified its goals for development going forward.
"We will continue to unswervingly pursue the set goal and path and no external forces or incidents could disturb our pace," Hua said.