BEIJING, April 3 (Xinhua) -- China hopes to address the trade dispute with the United States through dialogue and consultation. But if any party insists on starting a trade war, China is ready to take any necessary measures to defend its legitimate interests, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tuesday.
Geng Shuang made the remarks at a routine news briefing when answering a question related to the recent trade dispute between China and the United States.
The Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council on Monday announced the suspension of tariff concessions on 128 U.S. products, including pork and fruit, according to the Ministry of Finance.
Geng said this was a countermeasure in response to a previous U.S. move to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, known as U.S. Section 232 measures, but not a countermeasure for the U.S. Section 301 investigation.
"We don't want a trade war, but we are not afraid of it. If someone insists on starting a trade war, we will fight till the end," Geng said, adding that China has the determination and ability to take any necessary measures to defend its legitimate interests.
Geng stressed that China remains open to negotiation, and hopes to properly handle the dispute with the United States through dialogue and consultation.
"We hope the dialogue and consultation will be in accordance with international law and trade rules and based on mutual respect and equality," Geng said, adding that the United States should stay rational, listen to calls from business communities and common people, discard unilateralism and trade protectionism, address the dispute through dialogue and consultation, and work with China for the healthy and steady development of bilateral trade to benefit both peoples.