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China threatens corporate hit list on eve of new tariffs on US imports.


Date: 01-06-2019
Subject: China threatens corporate hit list on eve of new tariffs on US imports
Beijing: China threatened on Friday to unveil an unprecedented hit list of “unreliable” foreign firms, groups and individuals that harm the interests of Chinese companies, as a slate of retaliatory tariffs on imported US goods was set to kick in at midnight. 

The commerce ministry did not single out any country or company, but the threat could further heighten tensions after Washington this month put Huawei on a blacklist that effectively blocks US firms from doing business with the Chinese telecoms equipment giant. 

Beijing’s “unreliable entities list” would apply to those who violate market rules and the spirit of contracts, block supplies to Chinese companies for non-commercial reasons, “seriously damage the legitimate rights and interests” of Chinese companies and harm China’s national security, the ministry said. 

A deluge of sharply worded commentaries, criticism and warnings from China in the last two weeks has intensified a battle of words with the United States that could complicate the run-up to any meeting between their respective leaders next month. 

Earlier this month, Washington slapped additional tariffs of up to 25% on $200 billion of Chinese goods, accusing Beijing of reneging on its previous promises to make structural changes to its economic practices. That prompted Beijing to hit back with additional levies on the majority of US imports on a $60 billion target list — due to take effect on Saturday. 

US President Donald Trump has said he plans to meet his counterpart, Xi Jinping, during the G20 summit, set for June28-29 in Osaka, though China has not formally confirmed this. 

Xi and Trump are likely to find it “difficult” to make major progress towards ending the trade war, a former top Chinese official said. 

The US approach to trade talks had been “bullying and America First”, whereas the principles of China’s approach to negotiations were equality and cooperation, said Dai Xianglong, who headed the People’s Bank of China from 1995-2002 and remains an influential figure in China. 

“I expect that at next month’s meeting of the leaders in Japan it will be difficult to achieve major progress,” Dai said, later adding that he was not confirming that the meeting would take place, but that he hoped it would. 

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

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