China bravado belies worries over US trade row

BEIJING (AP) — The Latest on the trade dispute between China and the U.S. that may result in the two sides each imposing higher duties on billions of dollars’ worth of each other’s exports. (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

China says it’s girded for a trade war with the U.S. and can give as good as it gets, but behind the official bravado lies a deep unease over trade friction with Washington.

Yu Zhi, an economist in Shanghai, has urged Beijing to “fully estimate the negative impact of the trade war on the Chinese economy” and find ways to avoid a trade war.

The U.S. has threatened to impose 25 percent duties on $34 billion in Chinese products starting Friday and China has said it will fire back with corresponding tariffs.

The trade dispute has roiled the stock market, where the benchmark Shanghai Composite index has tumbled 12 percent in the past two weeks.

7:00 p.m.

The Communist Party newspaper Global Times has taken the U.S. to task for threatening to raise tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of exports.

In a sharply worded editorial Thursday headlined, “Washington cannot contain China’s growth through a trade war,” the newspaper suggested Beijing was bracing for a fight.

It said, “If the US is determined to escalate conflicts with China, then so be it. Perhaps the Trump administration can only clear its mind after a fight.”

12:20 a.m.

A Chinese government spokesman has said Beijing “will not bow in the face of threats and blackmail” on the eve of U.S. tariff hikes and will defend its interests.

The Commerce Ministry spokesman, Gao Feng, said Thursday that Beijing will wait to see what Washington does before taking action of its own.

The Trump administration is poised to raise tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports on Friday in the dispute over technology policy. China has threatened to retaliate.

Gao said at a news conference, “China will not bow in the face of threats and blackmail.” He said if Washington acts, China will “fight back to defend the core interests of the country and the interests of the people.”

This article provided by NewsEdge.