Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Tuesday he does not know anything about President Donald Trump’s Monday claim that China called U.S. officials to discuss an agreement.
“I have not heard of this situation regarding the two calls that the U.S. mentioned in the weekend,” Geng said Tuesday, adding, “Regretfully, the U.S. has further increased the tax rate on China’s exports to the U.S. This extreme pressure is purely harmful to both sides and not constructive at all,” according to CNBC.
One day later, China is still insisting that no phone calls took place over the weekend that Trump claimed showed its willingness to talk again.
“I have not heard of this situation regarding the two calls that the U.S. mentioned in the weekend.” https://t.co/weoLl3gk5J
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 27, 2019
The ministry’s comments come after Trump told reporters at the G7 summit Monday morning that Chinese officials called U.S. trade experts to negotiate a deal amid increased tariffs implemented by both countries on billions of dollars worth of products, USA Today reported.
“We’ve got two calls, very very good calls, very productive calls,” Trump told reporters. “They mean business.”
He also sent out a tweet Monday morning touting the calls, saying, “Great respect for the fact that President Xi [Jinping] & His Representatives want ‘calm resolution.’ So impressed that they are willing to come out & state the facts so accurately. This is why he is a great leader & representing a great country. Talks are continuing!”
Great respect for the fact that President Xi & his Representatives want “calm resolution.” So impressed that they are willing to come out & state the facts so accurately. This is why he is a great leader & representing a great country. Talks are continuing!https://t.co/0sotrd1Mzh
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 26, 2019
Chinese officials, however, insist there has not been communication between the two countries since the president announced increased tariffs as much as 30% on $250 billion of Chinese goods starting Oct. 1 on top of an additional 15% tariff on $300 billion of Chinese goods set to go into effect Sept. 1, according to CNBC.
“China did not and will not surrender,” Chinese state-run media Xinhua said in a Tuesday commentary post. “Playing the old tricks of bullying and maximum pressure, the U.S. administration has escalated the trade tensions repeatedly and tried to coerce China into accepting its irrational demands.” (RELATED: In Tirade Against China, Trump ‘Orders’ American Companies To Do Their Business Elsewhere)
Geng said China hopes “the U.S. can maintain calm, return to rationality, stop wrong practices, and create conditions for the two sides to conduct consultations on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit.”
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