China's Vice Premier Says U.S. Trade Protectionist Talk Is "Irresponsible"

Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi on Thursday criticized calls in the United States for trade protectionist measures, calling such moves "irresponsible acts" that can only harm both countries' interests.

In an opinion article in the Asian edition of the Wall Street Journal, Wu, who will head a delegation of Chinese officials to Washington next week for the second round of a "strategic economic dialogue", called for the two sides to resolve trade problems through dialogue in a "reasonable manner".

Wu said China was aware of the need for both countries to make necessary economic adjustments and adopt "sound and reasonable" economic and trade policies to adjust to the challenges of globalization.

"However, there are some in the U.S. who overstate the U.S. trade imbalance with China, and blame China for problems that arise as the U.S. adjusts its economic structure to respond to challenges posed by economic globalization. Some even advocate trade protectionism," she wrote.

"Such irresponsible acts can only obstruct economic globalization and hinder the fundamental interests of both China and the U.S., our peoples and the sustainable and steady growth of the world economy."

Some members of the U.S. Congress have threatened legislation that would place tariffs on imports of goods from China if Beijing does not do more to end what many in Washington see as unfair trade practices, ranging from the value of the currency to industrial subsidies.

Wu said that China did not seek a trade surplus and was taking steps to expand domestic consumption, which could ease the imbalances. She pointed to Beijing's moves to improve market access and protection of intellectual property rights, as well as increasing imports.

She also reiterated Beijing's well-worn call for the United States to ease its restrictions on exports of some high-technology products to China.