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China accuses the US of 'bullying behavior'

Key Points
  • The U.S. escalated trade talks with "bullying behavior" and caused major setbacks in the U.S. and China reaching a trade resolution, a Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesperson says, according to state-run news agency Xinhua.
  • "It is regrettable that the U.S. side unilaterally escalated trade disputes, which resulted in severe negotiating setbacks," spokesperson Gao Feng says.
  • China will be forced to respond, Gao adds.
Chinese President Xi Jinping chats with President Donald Trump during a welcome ceremony in Beijing on Nov. 9, 2017.
AP Photo | Andy Wong

The United States bullied China during trade talks, a Chinese Commerce Ministry official says.

President Donald Trump and the United States escalated trade talks with "bullying behavior" and were the reason why they fell apart, a spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said at a press conference Thursday, according to state-run news agency Xinhua.

"The two sides had open and constructive communication during the 11th round of the China-U.S. high-level economic and trade consultations," spokesperson Gao Feng said. "However, it is regrettable that the U.S. side unilaterally escalated trade disputes, which resulted in severe negotiating setbacks."

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The U.S. and China have been involved in a trade dispute for over a year, but the trade war has heightened since the beginning of May. Trump hiked tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods last Friday and China retaliated on Monday with tariffs on $60 billion worth of imports.

Investors are bracing for potential new tariffs, as Trump has threatened to put additional levies on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods.

China will be forced to respond, Gao said, although he added: "China always believes that raising tariffs is not a solution to the trade frictions."

"We urge the U.S. side to correct wrongdoings as soon as possible to avoid causing heavier damages to businesses and consumers in both countries and dragging down the global economy," Gao said.

Earlier in the week. U.S. markets tanked on the trade news but the major indexes earned back their loses by Thursday's close. They opened lower Friday.

— Read the full Xinhua story here.

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