Indeed, in a meeting on Saturday in Zhongnanhai that was attended by China’s highest leadership, President Xi Jinping, from what we understand, characterized the President’s latest round raising of the rate of tariffs on almost all Chinese imports as a sign of “hysteria” and “desperation.”
Trump, Xi said, cannot be allowed to bully China, and unless his administration was to fully accept Beijing’s three principles, there would be no bilateral agreement between the two countries.
The first of those principles, as a reminder, is the removal of all the Trump administration tariffs on Chinese exports to the US.
Having said that, after Friday’s fireworks, Xi added there was no need to immediately escalate again with further additional tariffs – at least not yet.
In the meantime, he instructed Premier Li to convene a meeting on Saturday afternoon to go over a series of further countermeasures against the US, if needed.
China indicated that it wouldn’t immediately retaliate against the latest U.S. tariff increase announced by President Donald Trump last week, emphasizing the need to discuss ways to deescalate the trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
“China has ample means for retaliation, but thinks the question that should be discussed now is about removing the new tariffs to prevent escalation of the trade war,” Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng told reporters in Beijing on Thursday. “China is lodging solemn representations with the U.S. on the matter.”
Stocks across Asia pared losses and European stocks turned higher with U.S. equity futures as investors interpreted the comments as an olive branch from Beijing aimed at getting talks back on track.