May 2, 2018 / 4:04 PM / 20 days ago

China won't accept preconditions in US trade talks - Chinese govt official

BEIJING, May 3 (Reuters) - China would welcome a successful outcome from upcoming trade talks with the United States, but is fully prepared for all outcomes and will not negotiate on core interests, a Chinese government official said on Wednesday.

Talks must be held as equals and be mutually beneficial, said the official, who declined to be named, adding that Beijing would not yield to any trade threats from Washington or accept any preconditions for talks.

A top-level U.S. trade delegation is travelling to Beijing for talks on Thursday and Friday amid a festering dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened tariffs on up to $150 billion worth of Chinese goods to punish China over its joint-venture requirements and other policies he says force American companies to surrender their intellectual property to state-backed Chinese competitors.

China has denied that it forces companies to transfer technology and has promised to retaliate in kind to any U.S. tariffs.

“In the event of a trade war, we have a much greater ability to endure (the consequences) than the U.S.,” the official said.

The United States has asked China to reduce its bilateral trade surplus by $100 billion and has targeted Beijing’s “Made in China 2025” initiative, which aims to upgrade the domestic manufacturing base with more advanced products.

The Chinese official said Beijing would not accept talks with any preconditions on these or other issues.

Last year China had a record trade surplus of $375 billion with the United States. (Reporting by Elias Glenn Editing by Gareth Jones)

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