BEIJING, July 26 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said Thursday that American farmers were paying for the U.S. government's trade bullying.
Geng made the remarks at a press conference, responding to a question regarding U.S. President Donald Trump's accusation that China was targeting American farmers and using them as leverage to get concessions on trade.
On Wednesday, Trump tweeted: "China is targeting our farmers, who they know I love & respect, as a way of getting me to continue allowing them to take advantage of the U.S. They are being vicious in what will be their failed attempt. We were being nice - until now! China made $517 Billion on us last year."
However, Geng defended China's trade policy. "China has been the main buyer of American agricultural products. Over the years, Sino-U.S. agricultural cooperation has been expanding and deepening, which has brought tangible benefits to both sides," he said.
"Everyone should remember that in June last year, China and the U.S. reached an agreement on the issue of U.S. beef exports to China, and in May this year, the Chinese and American teams held constructive consultations on economic and trade issues in Washington, D.C. The two sides agreed to increase the export of American agricultural products to China.
"These agreements could have been implemented smoothly, but unfortunately the development of the situation was not as expected.
"The current situation is entirely caused by the U.S. side by pursuing unilateralism and trade protectionism and insisting on provoking trade wars against China.
"China hopes that the U.S. side could listen to the rational voices of all circles in the country as well as the general voices of the international community, recognize the situation, weigh the pros and cons, and not go further down the wrong path."
Geng also said China hoped that the efforts and initiatives of the United States and the European Union would play a constructive role in promoting global economic growth.
Regarding the U.S.-EU trade agreement reached Wednesday, Geng said the United States and the EU were the world's major economies and trading partners.
"If the two sides could resolve trade disputes through dialogue and consultation, promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and oppose unilateralism and protectionism, then such efforts will not only meet the interests of both sides, but also bring benefits to the world," Geng said.
"Of course, we also hope that the relevant efforts and measures of the U.S. and the EU are in line with the rules of multilateral trade, for example, the principle of non-discrimination, etc.
"The 10th BRICS summit is being held in South Africa, and the meeting has voiced strong opposition to unilateralism and protectionism on behalf of developing countries and emerging market economies.
"We hope that the efforts and initiatives of the U.S. and the EU will be consistent with the demands of the developing countries and become an integral part of the international community's efforts to maintain multilateralism."