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China Rejects ‘Threats and Blackmail’ on Eve of U.S. Tariff Hike

(Joe McDonald – Associated Press)

China rejected “threats and blackmail” ahead of a threatened U.S. tariff hike, striking a defiant stance Thursday in a dispute companies worry could flare into a full-blown trade war and chill the global economy.

A government spokesman said Beijing will defend itself if U.S. President Donald Trump goes ahead Friday with plans to raise duties on $34 billion of Chinese goods in the escalating conflict over technology policy.

The dispute reflects foreign frustration with China’s state-led industrial development strategy, which Washington, Europe, Japan and other trading partners say hurt their companies and violate its market-opening commitments. Americans worry that rising Chinese technological prowess might erode U.S. industrial leadership and prosperity.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s government has issued a list of U.S. goods for possible retaliation, but the Commerce Ministry said it will wait to see what Washington does. Click here to read more.