China will keep calm in face of trade talk challenges: People's Daily

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump meets with China's Vice Premier Liu He in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 4, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China will keep calm against threats of higher tariffs from the United States and has “complete confidence” in its ability to face challenges in trade talks, a commentary in China’s top newspaper said on Wednesday.

Responding to U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods this week and target hundreds of billions more, the People’s Daily said China had faced similar threats before.

“China has complete confidence to face all possible difficulties and challenges in the China-U.S. economic and trade consultation process, which is why China has always been able to maintain its composure,” said the commentary in the official paper of the Communist Party.

It was published under the pen name “Zhong Sheng”, meaning “Voice of China”, which is often used to give the paper’s view on foreign policy issues.

In a separate commentary, the official Xinhua news agency called the U.S. approach “regrettable” and said consultation was the “correct way” to solve trade issues.

“Regarding the China-U.S. trade war, China has always been reluctant to fight, but is not afraid to fight, and will fight when necessary,” Xinhua said.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will travel to Washington for two days of trade talks this week, China said on Tuesday, as the country seeks to secure a deal to avoid the sharp increase of tariffs threatened by Trump.

U.S. officials have accused China of reneging on commitments made during months of negotiations aimed at ending their trade war. Beijing has repeatedly said it will make changes to open its economy on its own timeline, not in response to trade disputes.

Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; editing by Darren Schuettler