China blamed the United States for the breakdown of trade negotiations between the two largest economies in the world in a white paper released Sunday.
The U.S. government “should bear the sole and entire responsibility” for the trade deadlock, according to the report.
The United States was described as an untrustworthy negotiator and the Chinese government wants an equal, mutually beneficial and trustworthy negotiatiator.
“The more the U.S. government is offered, the more it wants,” the document said.
Wang Shouwen, China’s vice minister for commerce, accused the United States of being “irresponsible” and backtracking on its promises during a news conference in Beijing on Sunday.
“Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed,” he said in English, the only time he strayed from his native tongue.
Despite these difference, the report said that Beijing remained “committed to credible consultations based on equality and mutual benefit” though it will “not give ground on matters of principle”.
Wang said China will send representatives to the G-20 meeting in Osaka, Japan., at the end of June but would not confirm whether President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping would meet.
“The difference is too wide and would be impossible for them to bridge in a month,” Shi Yinhong, an adviser to China’s State Council and a specialist in U.S. affairs at Renmin University in Beijing, told the South China Morning Post.
He noted that in trade and technology China has less leverage than the United States but it “has kept its retaliatory measures within these areas. If it extended its efforts to areas like North Korea and Iran, it could do much greater damage to Trump.”
And he said China has shown restraint in its efforts to fight back against the United States.
Last month, Trump announced tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods would increase 10 percent to 25 percent. China reciprocated with tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods. And the United States has also begun investigating whether $300 billion of other Chinese goods could be subject to tariffs.
“I don’t believe that China can continue to pay these really hundreds of billions of dollars in tariffs,” Trump said last weekend in Japan.
The document also accused the United States of insisting on “mandatory requirements concerning China’s sovereign affairs.”
The South China Morning Post reported earlier that Washington had asked Beijing to “completely open its Internet” as part of the trade deal.
Tensions escalated on Friday when China’s Commerce Ministry announced it would create a list of “unreliable entities.” State news agency Xinhua then reported Saturday that China is investigating U.S.-based FedEx because the shipping giant allegedly diverted packages destined for Huawei addresses in Asia.
Wang said any foreign companies that act against Chinese law will be subject to Chinese investigations.
The United States put Chinese telecom giant Huawei on a list that in essence prevents the company from conducting business with U.S. companies.
According to the White House, the United States agreed not raise tariffs if China ends its practice of forcing foreign companies to hand over their technology in exchange for access to China’s domestic market.
“The consensus then was to not raise tariffs, and work towards canceling them,” Wang said.