Europe rejects alliance with China to fight Trump on trade


Australia won't escape fallout if the U.S. and China fall into a trade war.

China's Foreign Ministry, when asked on Tuesday if the timing of the alert was politically motivated, said summer was the high season for Chinese going to the USA and that its embassies had an obligation to warn citizens about potential risks overseas.

US President Donald Trump has threatened to escalate the trade conflict with tariffs on as much as a total of $450 billion in Chinese goods if Beijing retaliates, with the row roiling financial markets including stocks, currencies and global trade of commodities from soy beans to coal. Friction has also grown over the South China Sea and Taiwan.

China said Tuesday it's "fully prepared" for a trade war with the United States as hopes dwindle for a breakthrough in tensions this week between the world's two biggest economies. "We won't do it and we have told them that".

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China's stock market fell sharply on Wednesday as traders anxious about the escalating trade dispute.

Economists have for months warned of the potential damage to the United States and global economies from aggressive trade policies and protectionism, which would raise prices and upend global supply chains.

Beijing officials on Wednesday delayed implementing retaliatory tariffs by 12 hours - not wanting to draw first blood in a potential trade war.

A report by New York-based Rhodium Group, a research consultancy, in April showed that Chinese restrictions on foreign investment are higher in every single sector save real estate, compared to the European Union, while numerous big Chinese takeovers in the bloc would not have been possible for EU companies in China.

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As traditional alliances fray, Liu He has said privately that his country is ready to set out for the first time what sectors it can open to European investment at the annual summit, expected to be attended by President Xi Jinping, China's Premier Li Keqiang and top EU officials.

While Trump touts announcements of jobs created in steel plants due to the tariffs, manufacturing industries warn many more jobs will be lost in companies producing autos, auto parts, appliances and other goods that depend on imported components. But EU officials expect any moves to be more symbolic than substantive.

The tariffs target a broad spectrum of Chinese goods - such as passenger vehicles, radio transmitters, aircraft parts and computer hard drives - from industries Washington said have benefited from unfair trade practices.

However, China's offer at the upcoming summit to open up reflects Beijing's concern that it is set to face tighter European Union controls, and regulators are also blocking Chinese takeover attempts in the United States.

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The report said how, in 2016, after a Chinese student was shot and killed in Arizona, the Chinese Embassy in Washington told travelers to avoid "crime scenes and tough neighborhoods". "Simply put, the U.S. is opening fire on the whole world, and also firing at itself", Gao said. "It's unlikely to mark a systemic change".