China will use trade war with US to replace imports – state media

September 19, 2018 - 9:33 AM
Flags of U.S. and China are placed for a meeting at the Ministry of Agriculture in Beijing, China, June 30, 2017. (Reuters/Jason Lee/File Photo)

SHANGHAI — China is not afraid of “extreme measures” the United States is taking in their trade war and will use it as an opportunity to replace imports, promote localization and accelerate the development of high-tech products, state media said.

The People’s Daily newspaper, which is published by the ruling Communist Party, made the comments in a front-page article in its overseas edition on Wednesday.

The world’s two largest economies dove deeper into a trade war on Tuesday after Beijing added $60 billion of U.S. products to its import tariff list in retaliation for U.S. President Donald Trump’s planned levies on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

“To deal with the trade war, what China really should do is to focus on doing its own thing well,” the People’s Daily said.

“(China) is not worried that the U.S. trade counter measures will raise domestic commodity prices by too much but will instead use it as an opportunity to replace imports, promote localization or develop export-oriented advanced manufacturing,” it said.

The Global Times tabloid, which is affiliated to the People’s Daily, said the trade war was a chance to pursue greater global recognition of its financial markets and that it could open its A-share market more to listings by Western firms.

The United States has so far imposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese products to pressure China to make sweeping changes to its trade, technology transfer and high-tech industrial subsidy policies.

The new tariffs will begin on Sept. 24 and will increase to 25 percent by the end of 2018.

Beijing has retaliated in kind but some analysts and American businesses are concerned it could resort to other measures, such as pressuring U.S. companies operating in China.

Another Chinese state-owned newspaper, the China Daily, also said in an editorial on Wednesday the U.S. tactics would prove to be ineffective.

“China has always managed to find the proper solutions to put its economy back on track,” the China Daily said.

“The trade conflict will not force China to succumb to US pressure. Instead, given its economic resilience, it will squarely face those challenges, find the right solutions, and emerge stronger,” it said. —Reporting by Brenda Goh Editing by Paul Tait