China is sending a trade representative to Washington in an effort to end the tariff war between the world’s two largest economies.
The delegation will be led by Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen and will take place in August. No further details on the agenda have been provided.
This news comes as Beijing and Washington are about to impose a new round of tariff increases of $16 billion amidst escalating conflict over technology policies.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has said that Beijing “reiterates its opposition to unilateralism and trade protectionism and does not accept any unilateral trade restriction.”
This month’s meeting would be the first among senior US and Chinese officials since June 3 in Beijing between Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Deputy Prime Minister Liu. The meeting ended without agreement.
After that, Washington imposed its first round of 25 tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese products on July 6 in response to complaints that Beijing stole or pressured foreign companies to turn over their technology. China responded with similar sanctions on US imports.
The Trump government is expected to impose similar increases by another $16 billion from Chinese imports on Tuesday. The government of China has released a list of US products for retaliation.
Meanwhile, US cyber security firm FireEye believes that China is using its “One Belt, One Route” initiative to spy on foreign companies and governments, without providing any evidence for such accusations against the massive economic and infrastructure integration project which many countries have seen as a highly attractive alternative to US hegemony.
According to FireEye, China’s cyber activity supposedly has as its main targets Belarus, the Maldives, Cambodia, European foreign ministries and nongovernmental organizations. “They seem to be interested in countries where there is a lot of money at stake for them or where policies are being created that would affect future projects,” FireEye vice president Sandra Joyce told the newspaper.
The “One Belt, One Route” initiative was first announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013. The goal of the project is to develop infrastructure and strengthen ties between Eurasian countries as well as Africa, Oceania and to develop a 21st century “Silk Road” linking economies without the political and cultural demands imposed by the West.