China calls on world to stand up to US over trade

A box of "American Ginseng" is seen in a display case at a pharmacy in Beijing on April 4, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 05 April 2018

China calls on world to stand up to US over trade

BEIJING: China’s foreign minister on Thursday called on the international community to oppose the United States’ recent trade moves, saying they threatened global economic growth.
Addressing a news conference in Moscow, Wang Yi condemned a move by President Donald Trump’s administration to slap tariffs on a list of Chinese goods and said the world should stand up to Washington over what he called its unilateral moves.
“The world community must together resist these sorts of unilateral actions and breaking of the rules, must jointly push for global economic growth and together help bring some common sense to those who think they can do anything they like,” he said.
If the United States believes it could benefit from protectionism it is making a mistake, he said after meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.
“If the US is using the sanctions stick, then they’ve got the wrong idea,” Wang Yi said.
An escalating confrontation between Washington and Beijing has been inching closer to an all-out trade war since China on Wednesday threatened retaliation against key US exports over looming US tariffs on more than 1,000 Chinese goods.
“Our counter-measures were necessary and sufficient,” Wang Yi said, adding they were “a legitimate defense of our interests and our rights.”
China has sought consultations with the United States, the first step in a WTO dispute, over its announced tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports on grounds of alleged theft of US intellectual property, the World Trade Organization said on Thursday.
The notification to the Geneva-based watchdog triggered a 60-day deadline for the two sides to settle the complaint or face litigation at the WTO by a neutral panel of arbitrators.


China says it has sold nearly four billion masks abroad

Updated 05 April 2020

China says it has sold nearly four billion masks abroad

  • Beijing has encouraged factories to increase production of medical supplies
  • China has also exported 37.5 million pieces of protective clothing, 16,000 ventilators and 2.84 million COVID-19 testing kits since March 1
BEIJING: China has sold nearly four billion masks to foreign countries since March, officials said Sunday, as they tried to stem widespread fears over the quality of medical exports.
Despite Chinese cases dwindling, Beijing has encouraged factories to increase production of medical supplies as the pandemic kills over 60,000 globally and parts of the world face a protective equipment shortage.
China has exported 3.86 billion masks, 37.5 million pieces of protective clothing, 16,000 ventilators and 2.84 million COVID-19 testing kits since March 1, customs official Jin Hai said, with orders to more than 50 countries.
She added the country’s medical supply exports were valued at $1.4 billion.
However numerous nations — including the Netherlands, the Philippines, Croatia, Turkey and Spain — have complained about substandard or faulty medical products shipped from China.
Last week, the Dutch government recalled 600,000 masks out of a Chinese shipment of 1.3 million that did not meet quality standards.
China said the manufacturer “stated clearly that (the masks) are non-surgical.”
Spain also rejected thousands of rapid test kits sent by an unauthorized Chinese company after it found that they were unreliable last week.
Chinese officials hit back on Sunday at media reports over defective medical supplies, saying that they “did not reflect the full facts.”
“In reality there are various factors, such as China having different standards and different usage habits to other countries. Even improper use can lead to doubts over quality,” said Jiang Fan, an official with the Ministry of Commerce.
The comments echoed remarks from Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, who over the past week has repeatedly urged Western media not to “politicize” or “hype up” the issue.
Earlier this week, Beijing tightened regulations for exported coronavirus medical equipment, requiring products to fulfil both domestic licensing standards and that of their destination countries.
China has also increased its production capacity of COVID-19 testing kits to over 4 million a day, said Zhang Qi, an official with the National Medical Products Administration.