The regular press conference of the Ministry of Commerce was held on March 29. Gao Feng, the spokesman, first gave a brief introduction about the "2017-2018 Development Report on China's General Merchandise Retail Sale" and the information about the trade in services in the first two months of this year. When he talked about how to solve the Sino-US trade disputes, Gao Feng expressed that "whoever started the trouble, should end it".
In the first two months of this year, the total import and export volume of China’s services amounted to RMB 811.14 billion Yuan, accounting for 9.3% increase year on year, among which the export of services was RMB265.96 billion Yuan, accounting for 4.6% increase and the import of services was RMB 545.18 billion Yuan, accounting for 11.8% increase.
In response to the question raised by the correspondent from the 21st Century Business Herald about whether the unilateral imposition of tariff by the United States against China’s products based on the 301 survey has violated the WTO rules and its related commitments, Gao Feng pointed out that the imposition of tariff by the US side against China’s products according to the 301 survey is in a flagrant violation of its international obligations under WTO. According to the provision of the first article of GATT1994, the US's tariff treatment to the Chinese side cannot be lower than that given to other WTO members. Article two stipulates that the tariff treatment granted by the US to the Chinese side cannot be higher than the constraint level in its concession schedule. The practice of the US side violates the US's tariff reduction commitments under Article two of GATT1994 and also violates the most favored nation treatment obligation under the first article. This is a flagrant challenge to the rules of multilateral trade.
As for how to solve the Sino-US trade disputes, I think that whoever started the trouble, should end it. The US must stop its wrong practice and retract the "big stick" of its unilateralism and trade protectionism. Only through consultations between the two sides on an equal and mutually beneficial basis, can we find cooperation and win-win solutions.
In response to the question raised by the correspondent from the Shanghai Securities News about how to control the intensity of the escalation of trade war, Gao Feng expressed that China's position has been very clear. We do not want to fight a trade war. China is actively developing global partnerships, making efforts to expand the convergence points with countries in the world and building a new type of cooperation and win-win international relationship. However, we are not afraid of fighting a trade war. We object to imposing our will to others and oppose the strong domineering over the weak. We will never give up our legitimate rights and interests, and will take all necessary measures to resolutely defend our legitimate rights and interests.