BlackRock's Larry Fink warns a 'full-fledged' US-China trade war could happen if things don't change

  • "I was in China a few weeks ago, and I do believe if the path remains the same in the next few weeks, we're going to have a full-fledged trade war," says Larry Fink, the CEO of the largest asset manager in the world.
  • "Let's hope I'm wrong," he says.
Larry Fink
Anjali Sundaram | CNBC
Larry Fink

The trade conflict between the United States and China could get much worse if things don't change, BlackRock's Larry Fink said Thursday.

"I was in China a few weeks ago, and I do believe if the path remains the same in the next few weeks, we're going to have a full-fledged trade war," the CEO of the largest asset manager in the world said at the DealBook conference in New York. "Let's hope I'm wrong."

The U.S. has slapped tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese imports. China has retaliated with its own levies on U.S. goods. This skirmish has been going on for most of 2018 and has investors around the globe fearing tougher trade conditions could diminish corporate profits.

"China, a very strong, very proud nation, I think they're going to stand firm. Privately, I think they will negotiate, but I don't think that has worked for them at the moment," Fink said. "We had similar problems in our negotiations with Mexico and Canada. That was stalled and stalled and stalled until we came to a resolution."

Fink's comments come ahead of an expected meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Nov. 30-Dec. 1 G-20 summit of world leaders in Buenos Aires. In a tweet, Trump said he talked with Xi about trade and that the conversation was "long and very good."

WATCH:Twelve US execs explain how Trump's trade war affects their bottom lines