Don't Want Trade War With US, But Will Take Necessary Measures: China

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Xi said in his report at 19th CPC National Congress in October a year ago that China was willing to share favorable circumstances regarding China's development with Taiwanese people and would expand economic and cultural exchanges across the Taiwan Strait.

Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui, who is the National People's Congress spokesman, sidestepped a question at the legislature's opening news conference about whether Xi would stay on "forever".

"China does not want a trade war with the USA but if the U.S. takes actions that hurts China's interests then China will not sit idly and take necessary measures", Zhang said.

The man who was master of ceremonies at Hong Kong's handover to China in 1997 stepped into the media spotlight again on Sunday, this time as parliamentary spokesman.

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The proposal sparked off concern and speculation at home and overseas that Xi, heading the CPC and military besides the presidency, who recently began his second five-year term would continue for an unprecedented third term and beyond, wielding unquestionable power exercised by the party founder, Mao Zedong, in the heydays of China's revolution.

"If policies are made on the basis of mistaken judgments or assumptions, it will damage bilateral relations and bring about consequences that neither country wants to see", he said.

However, he sought to strike a reassuring tone in remarks at a news conference on the eve of the congress' annual session.

According to agency reports, Trump's announcement on Thursday sparked a flurry of counter-threats from other nations but its main trade rival, China, had avoided any overt warnings of potential retaliation until now. China has sharply criticized the USA move on tariffs, saying it would hurt the global economy.

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"China's development is conducive to world peace, stability and prosperity", he said, pointing to global economic growth, trade and poverty reduction.

As per the International Institute for Strategic Studies, China has the second biggest defence budget behind the US.

The U.S. Embassy in Beijing didn't respond to a request for comment about the status of trade talks. He said China will create a transparent, stable and predictable environment while widening market entry for foreign investors.

Trump's tariffs may yet prompt retaliation from China.

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"Trump is in a rush for quick results, and his reckless trade remedy measures could turn out badly for both sides", said Erlend Ek, agriculture and trade research manager at China Policy, a consulting firm based in Beijing. "And Trump is largely not supported by major US companies".