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China doesn’t want trade war with US but will retaliate against new restrictions, ambassador warns

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China doesn’t want trade war with US but will retaliate against new restrictions, ambassador warns

China does not want a trade war with America, but will retaliate against further curbs on tech or trade, according to the Chinese ambassador to the U.S. 

“Definitely it’s not our hope to have a tit-for-tat,” Ambassador Xie Feng told the Aspen Security Forum on Wednesday. “We don’t want a trade war, technological war. We want to say goodbye to the Iron Curtain, as well as the Silicon Curtain.”

Xie criticized U.S. restrictions on the sale of microchips and chipmaking equipment to China imposed last year by the Biden administration. 

“China does not shy away from competition, but the definition of competition by the U.S. side I think is not fair,” he told attendees. 

CHIPMAKERS PUSH BACK ON US RESTRICTIONS ON SEMICONDUCTOR EXPORTS TO CHINA

Xie Feng, China’s new ambassador to the U.S., addresses the media as he arrives at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City May 23, 2023. (REUTERS/Brendan McDermid / Reuters Photos)

“The United States is trying to win by keeping China out,” he said, referring to measures to curb U.S. technology sales to Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei due to security concerns.

“This is like restricting the other side to wear outdated swimwear in a swimming contest while you yourself (are) wearing a Speedo,” Xie noted.

Earlier this month, China imposed export curbs on two metals used in computer chips and solar cells, and earlier in the year, Beijing restricted the sales of products from Micron Inc., the biggest U.S. producer of memory chips.

While relations have been strained between the U.S. and China, both sides have taken steps open dialogue. 

John Kerry, the U.S. special envoy on climate, concluded talks on Wednesday with Chinese officials, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was in Beijing earlier in July. 

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Janet Yellen and He Lifeng

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, left, shakes hands with Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng during a meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing Saturday, July 8, 2023. (Mark Schiefelbein/Pool via REUTERS / Reuters Photos)

Yellen warned Monday that there is a risk of contagion from the growing slowdown in the Chinese economy but maintained that a recession in the U.S. is unlikely this year. 

New data released Monday revealed that gross domestic product in China grew just 6.3% in the three-month period from April to June as a result of falling exports, weak consumer spending and a prolonged downturn in the vital property market. 

“Many countries do depend on strong Chinese growth to promote growth in their own economies, particularly countries in Asia, and slow growth in China can have some negative spillovers for the United States,” she said during an interview with Bloomberg. “Growth has slowed, but our labor market continues to be quite strong,” Yellen said. “I don’t expect a recession.”

Xie Feng speaks to reporters

Xie Feng, China’s new ambassador to the United States, delivers brief remarks to the media upon his arrival at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on May 23, 2023. (Photo by Li Rui/Xinhua via Getty Images / Getty Images)

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Xie said China is “eager” to have a “stable, healthy relationship” with the U.S.

He said immediate “concrete” improvements could include increasing the number of passenger flights between China and the U.S. and renewing the countries’ cooperation agreement on science and technology.

FOX Business’ Megan Henney and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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