Want to 'work out' preliminary trade deal with US but not afraid of retaliating: Chinese President Xi Jinping

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Nov 22, 2019, 12.00 PM(IST) Edited By: Bharat Sharma

Trump-Xi Photograph:( Reuters )

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Jinping added that he believes in avoiding a trade war, but is nonetheless afraid of retaliating when necessary

Chinese President Xi Jinping today asserted his country's interest in working out a preliminary trade deal with the United States. He added that he believes in avoiding a trade war, but is nonetheless afraid of retaliating when necessary.

"We want to work for a 'phase one' agreement on the basis of mutual respect and equality," Xi told representatives of an international forum, Reuters reported.

"When necessary, we will fight back, but we have been working actively to try not to have a trade war. We did not initiate this trade war and this is not something we want", Jinping added.

Xi was at the Great Hall of the People responding to questions from representatives of the New Economy Forum organised by Bloomberg LP in Beijing.

Yesterday, former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger warned that an armed conflict could break out between the United States and China if they fail to resolve their trade war.

Kissinger was instrumental in normalising diplomatic relations between Washington and Beijing, came at a conference in Beijing on the future of the two economic giants.

"If a conflict is permitted to run unconstrained, the outcome could be even worse than it was in Europe", he said at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum.

"World War I broke out because of a relatively minor crisis ... and today the weapons are more powerful," the former top diplomat said.

Watch: China seeks sanctions on US at World Trade Organisation

Earlier, China said that it is willing to work with the United States to resolve each other's core concerns on the basis of equality and mutual respect, and will try hard to reach a "phase one" deal. 

"This is in line with the interests of both China and the United States, and of the world," Gao Feng, a spokesman at the ministry, told reporters. 

Economists warn that the prolonged trade dispute between China and the United States is escalating risks to the global economy by disrupting supply chains, discouraging investment and dampening business confidence.

Completion of a phase one deal could slide into next year, trade experts and people close to the White House told Reuters previously, as Beijing presses for more extensive tariff rollbacks and the US administration counters with heightened demands of its own.

(With inputs from Reuters)