China seeks India's cooperation amid trade war with US

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New Delhi (IANS): China and India need to deepen their cooperation to fight trade protectionism, the Chinese Embassy here said on Wednesday, as it accused the US of provoking trade disputes by adopting a unilateral approach.

"As the two largest developing countries and major emerging markets, China and India are both in the vital stage of deepening reform and developing economy and both need stable external environment," said Counsellor Ji Rong, the Embassy spokesperson. 

Ji was replying to media queries relating to the trade row between the US and China. 

"Practicing unilateral trade protectionism in the name of 'national security' and 'fair trade' will not only affect China's economic development but also undermine the external environment of India and hinder India's booming economy," he said.

"China and India share common interests in defending the multilateral trading system and free trade." 

The trade war between Washington and Beijing escalated in September, with US President Donald Trump imposing $200 billion tariff on Chinese imports. Beijing responded with tariffs on $60 billion of American imports. 

Neither of the world's two largest economies are showing signs of backing down and there are no further trade talks scheduled to resolve the dispute. 

The US had threatened to impose additional tariffs of $260 billion on Chinese imports in case of Beijing's retaliation. 

"Under the current circumstances, China and India need to deepen their cooperation to fight trade protectionism," Ji said, adding that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi "spoke with one voice" to safeguard the multilateral trading system and free trade at the World Economic Forum in Davos. 

"Facing unilateralism and bullying activities, China and India have more reasons to join efforts to build a more just and reasonable international order," he added.

Slamming Washington, the Embassy spokesperson said the US "should reflect on its own practice of interfering in the internal affairs of developing countries such as China and India under the pretext of human rights and religious matters".

He asked Trump to become a "trusted partner" of the developing countries. 

"What we are firmly against is attempts to use the so-called Indo-Pacific strategy as a tool to counter China. We are looking forward to the US taking concrete steps to become a trusted partner of the developing countries."

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