Apr 9, 2018 - Economy

China says American "anxiety disorder" is fueling tariffs

Trump stands behind Xi

Trump and Xi in Beijing. Photo: Kyodo News via Getty Images

Chinese state-run media and government officials in Beijing, who have largely remained quiet as the United States and China hit each other with tit-for-tat tariffs, have started to ramp up their rhetoric to slam the economic positions of Washington and President Trump.

In the world’s perception, the U.S. is overshadowed by an anxiety disorder and is very keen to show its anxiety.
— The People's Daily, a Chinese state newspaper, per Reuters

The big picture: President Trump tweeted Sunday that "Xi and I will always be friends" despite trade disputes, and that China will reel in unfair trade practices. The president's top trade adviser, Peter Navarro, told Meet the Press' Chuck Todd that he also expects China to come to the negotiating table. But the message coming out of Beijing does not indicate that China will back down in the face of a trade war.

What the Chinese are saying, via Reuters:

  • “Some people in the United States are still accustomed to being the world leader, and haven’t adapted to the change in the global situation." — Cui Tiankai, China’s ambassador to the U.S.
  • “The United States with one hand wields the threat of sanctions, and at the same time says they are willing to talk. I’m not sure who the United States is putting on this act for." — Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang

Go deeper: This time, China can fight back against tariffs.

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