BEIJING (Sputnik) – Beijing said that the Korean Peninsula escalation is not related to bilateral trade relations between China and the United States, when commenting on media reports of Trump's alleged plans of a "trade war" with Beijing amid Washington's criticism of China's lack of response to the North Korean crisis.
"The Chinese-US cooperation must be based on the respect for parties’ interests and fears. The Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and the trade and economic issue belong to different spheres. China and the United States must boost cooperation in both spheres. And it is totally unacceptable to use one of these issues as a tool for exerting pressure on another one," Hua said.
"Taking into account the importance of Chinese-US relations, Beijing is ready to make joint efforts with Washington to maintain a normal and stable development of the trade and economic relations based on the mutual respect, equal rights and benefits," the spokeswoman added.
On Saturday, Politico reported that Trump may on Monday announce an investigation into China’s alleged intellectual property theft from US companies. Citing a government official, the media outlet claimed that Trump is going to instruct US trade representatives to open a probe into the alleged theft under Section 301 of the 1974 US Trade Act, which would allow Washington to take unilateral action against foreign governments that violate international trade agreements or damage US trade interests.
Recently, US President Donald Trump stepped up criticism of China amid Pyongyang's numerous ballistic missile launches. Trump said last month that he was "very disappointed in China" over its failure to put pressure on North Korea to halt its nuclear and missile tests.
Interestingly, earlier in the day, Beijing decided to impose a partial ban on imports from North Korea.