China said on Tuesday it was impossible to hold trade talks with the United States while Washington is imposing tariffs that are like “holding a knife to someone’s throat”.
Speaking a day after Washington activated tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, vice commerce minister Wang Shouwen said China is open to negotiations but that the two sides must treat each other “equally and with respect”.
“Now that the US has adopted this type of large-scale trade restrictions, they’re holding a knife to someone’s throat. Under these circumstances, how can negotiations proceed?” Wang told a news conference.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had invited Chinese officials to hold new talks, but President Donald Trump’s latest tariffs salvo appear to have scuttled that effort.
Wang met US officials in Washington in August but there have been no high-level meetings for months.
Wang said Tuesday the US measures “have made it impossible for the negotiations to proceed.”