Consumers past by a U.S. fashion apparel store today in Beijing. U.S. President Donald Trump raised pressure on China on Sunday, threatening to hike tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods in a tweet that sent financial markets swooning. A Chinese delegation is scheduled to resume talks in Washington on Wednesday aimed at resolving a trade war that has shaken investors and cast gloom over the world economy. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese envoys are preparing to travel to the United States for trade talks, a government spokesman said today, suggesting talks on ending a bruising tariff war will go ahead despite President Donald Trump’s surprise threat to raise import taxes.
Beijing is “trying to get more information” following Trump’s announcement he might impose 25 percent tariffs on more Chinese imports, said the foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang.
Trump’s announcement Sunday on Twitter caused financial markets to plunge. It prompted suggestions Beijing might pull out of talks planned for this week to avoid looking weak in the face of American pressure.
Asked whether the top Chinese envoy, Vice Premier Liu He, would visit Washington as planned, Geng said, “a Chinese team is preparing to travel to the United States for trade talks.”
Geng declined to give further details when asked who might go or whether the talks would start Wednesday as scheduled. He referred other questions to the Commerce Ministry, which did not respond to requests for comment.
The lack of details suggested Beijing is wrestling with the conflict between wanting to end a fight that has battered Chinese exporters and its reluctance to appear to be giving in to Washington.
“We hope the United States will join efforts with China and we can meet each other halfway so we make a mutually beneficial agreement