President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday that Russia and China should work together to oppose protectionism and what he called unilateral approaches to international problems.
Xi made the comments at a news conference in Vladivostok in Russia’s far east after holding talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of an economic forum.
Xi, whose country is locked in an escalating trade showdown with the United States, did not mention Washington but said an increasingly unpredictable geopolitical climate made partnership between Russia and China even more important.
The 2018 China-United States trade war (also known as the Trump trade war, is an ongoing trade war between China and the United States which Trump promised in his campaign to fix China’s longtime abuse of the broken international system and unfair practices.
Each country has introduced tariffs on goods traded with the other.
Starting in April 2018, the U.S. imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from China, as well as Canada and countries in the European Union.
On July 6, the U.S. imposed 25 per cent tariffs on 34 billion dollars worth of Chinese goods, as part of President Donald Trump’s tariffs policy, which then led China to respond with similarly sized tariffs on U.S. products.
Four days later, following Trump’s orders, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) published a list of 200 billion dollars in Chinese products to be subject to a newly proposed – but not yet implemented – 10 per cent tariff.
China quickly responded to the announcement by blasting the proposed tariffs as “irrational” and “completely unacceptable”.
The Trump administration said the tariffs were necessary to protect national security and the intellectual property of U.S. businesses, and to help reduce the U.S. trade deficit with China.
The U.S. administration is relying partly on Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 to prevent what it claims are unfair trade practices and theft of intellectual property.
This gives the president the authority to unilaterally impose fines or other penalties on a trading partner if it is deemed to be unfairly harming U.S. business interests.
Trump had already, in August 2017, opened a formal investigation into attacks on the intellectual property of the U.S. and its allies, the theft of which cost the U.S. alone an estimated 225 to 600 billion dollars a year.