One might have thought this was a sign cooler heads would prevail, but China's Commerce Ministry says Beijing Will Fight back if U.S. Escalates Trade Spat.

China will not hesitate to fight back if the United States escalates its trade spat with Beijing, the commerce ministry said on Thursday, asserting that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s pledge to cut import tariffs is not a concession to Washington.

It would be misleading to say Xi’s pledge this week was a concession to the United States, commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng said at a regular press briefing in Beijing.

Gao said it is not reasonable to require tariffs to be completely equal for both sides, and that there is no demand for tariff equalization in bilateral relationships under World Trade Organization rules.

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China and the U.S. have not held any negotiations on their bilateral trade frictions, Gao said, adding that it is not a matter of whether Beijing is willing to negotiate with Washington.

It’s about the United States not showing sincerity, he said.

Trump may have been happy with small concessions that let him brag, at least for a while. In practice, nothing has been said or done, and Chinese promises are hollow.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock