16:22 GMT +316 February 2019
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    China Appeals to US' Common Sense in Trade Dispute, Warns Against Blackmailing

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    BEIJING (Sputnik) - Beijing urges the United States to be sensible in waging the trade war and demands that the United States stop blackmailing China with threats to further raise the tariffs on the imported Chinese goods, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Thursday.

    "First of all, we're appealing to the US side to change their stand and not to practice blackmailing, it is useless against China. Secondly, we are calling on the US side to use their common sense again, you should not always act impulsively, after all you may end up hurting but yourself," Geng said at a media briefing.

    He also stressed that Beijing was always ready to deal with the situation at the negotiating table.

    READ MORE: Trump to Hold China Accountable for 'Unfair Trade Practices' — White House

    On Wednesday, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said that President Donald Trump offered him to consider imposing a 25-percent tariff rate instead of a 10-percent one on $200 billion worth of the imported Chinese goods and services. According to Lighthizer, the increase in the rates should encourage Beijing to change the country's unfair trade.

    The trade war between China and the United States escalated in June, when Trump said that Washington would introduce a 25-percent tariff on $50 billion worth of goods imported from China with Beijing immediately lashing back at Washington and imposing reciprocal tariffs.

    Even before his presidency, Trump criticized the fact that the import from China largely exceeded the US export, which resulted in a huge trade deficit for Washington amounting to $375 billion in 2017. In May 2018, the White House issued a statement where the United States accused China of "unfair trade practices," including dumping and higher tariffs on the goods exported from the United States than the tariffs Washington levied on the Chinese goods.

    Code of Conduct in South China Sea

    Сhina and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have capacity and wisdom to agree on a single draft Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea negotiating text, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Thursday during the ASEAN-China ministerial meeting.

    "I believe, as long as we can avoid external disruptions, the negotiations on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea will accelerate. The facts will prove that China and ASEAN are capable to maintain the peace in the South China Sea. We have the wisdom to agree to a regional rule that can be honored by all sides," Wang said.

    A framework for a Code of Conduct, aimed to prevent incidents between Beijing and ASEAN countries in the South China Sea, was agreed upon in 2017.

    China and several other countries in the region, namely Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines, have disputes on maritime borders and responsibility areas in the South China and East China Seas, where Beijing regularly holds military drills.

    Beijing considers the Spratly archipelago in the South China Sea to be its territory, despite the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling, which said there was no legal basis for China's maritime claims. The arbitration proceeding was initiated by the Philippines in January 2013.


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    blackmail, tariffs, trade, Donald Trump, China, United States