China criticizes US trade report but silent on tariff hikes

BEIJING — China on Friday expressed "grave concern" about a U.S. trade policy report that pledges to pressure Beijing but had no immediate response to President Donald Trump's plan to hike tariffs on steel and aluminum.

The report Thursday accused China of moving away from market principles and pledged to prevent Beijing from disrupting global trade.

"The Chinese side expresses grave concern," said a Commerce Ministry statement.

The ministry said Beijing has satisfied its trade obligations and appealed to Washington to settle disputes through negotiation.

However, there was no immediate response to Trump's announcement that he will increase duties on steel and aluminum imports. Chinese officials have threatened to take "necessary measures" to defend their country's interests.

Beijing faces mounting complaints from Washington, Europe and other trading partners that it improperly subsidizes exports and hampers access to its markets in violation of its free-trade commitments.

"The United States aims to hold countries that break the rules accountable for their actions," said a White House statement on Thursday.

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