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China appeals for US calm after new tariff threat

BEIJING (AP) — China appealed to Washington on Thursday to stay calm and “correct its attitude” following a U.S. threat to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods in a dispute over technology policy.

A foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, said Beijing was open to dialogue but gave no indication about the status of possible negotiations.

The U.S. Trade Representative announced Wednesday it was considering raising import duties on an additional list of Chinese goods by 25 percent instead of the previously planned 10 percent.

That reflected American frustration that Beijing retaliated by raising its own duties on U.S. imports in response to tariff hikes on Chinese goods over complaints the communist government steals or pressures companies to hand over technology.

“We urge the United States to correct its attitude and not to try to blackmail China because it will never work,” said Geng at a news conference. “We advise the United States to be level-headed and avoid simply acting on impulse, otherwise it will ultimately hurt itself.”

“Our door for dialogue is always open. But dialogue must be based on mutual respect, equality, rules and credibility,” said Geng. “Now, the US coerces and pressures others unilaterally. It will only be counterproductive.”

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