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China Prepares "Emergency Response Plan" Amid Escalating US Trade War

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While in recent days the growing trade war between China and the US has moved off the front page of market concerns despite now daily skirmishes such as today's anti-dumping probe launch by the US into US steel wheels which followed a Chinese 179% tariff on US sorghum imports which in turn was in response to the US banning exports to Chinese telecom giant ZTE, in recent days China has drawn up comprehensive list of urgent measures as the war of words over US-China trade relations has threatened to escalate into open economic conflict with each side threatening to levy heavy tariffs and taxes on each other's imports.

Commenting on the recent trade hostilities, National Development and Reform Commission spokesman Zeng Peiyan said on Wednesday that Beijing has all the political instruments it needs to respond to this trade conflict with the United States and minimize its economic effect.

"We have an emergency response plan at various levels and political means to retaliate to the trade challenges, initiated by the United States," Zeng added.

He stressed that the trade conflict would affect the country's economy only partially and that China “has the confidence, potential and ability to ensure the stable functioning of the country’s economy.”

Meanwhile, according to Reuters, Beijing’s international trade representatives have held multiple meetings with their counterparts in leading European economies as China, too, seek support in its trade brawl with the US. Recall the US was supposed to do the same with Trump canvassing support for the growing world trade war in Latin America last week, however he was held back by the diversionary Syrian airstikes.

China however, was not detained and Beijing officials met ambassadors from France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy last Thursday and Friday to propose a firewall against Trump’s protectionism, Reuters reported.

“The message was that we have to stand together against US protectionism in favor of free trade,” a European diplomat told Reuters. “China is showing confidence, but internally they appear quite concerned. They have apparently underestimated Trump’s resolve on trade,” the diplomat said, adding that Beijing is nervous that many of China’s trading partners could side with the US.

Besides imposing tariffs on Chinese goods, the Trump administration has also levied European countries with tariffs on steel and aluminum exports to America. Brussels has said that it will seek compensation from Washington through the World Trade Organization.

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