US protectionism to hit ties: China

China has accused the United States of straining their vast economic relationship through a slew of anti-dumping measures, adding to growing tensions between the two global powers.

The spokesman for China's Ministry of Commerce, Yao Jian, made the comments on Monday, responding to a US trade panel's recent decisions to set preliminary anti-dumping duties on electric blankets and wire decking from China.

Yao's warning came while Beijing is also at loggerheads with Washington over US arms sales to Taiwan, the self-ruled island that China deems a breakaway province.

His strong words suggested trade friction could stoke broader tensions between the world's biggest and third-biggest economies.

"Since the outbreak of the financial crisis, American trade protectionism has clearly raised its head, and China has become the biggest victim of US abuse of trade relief measures," Yao said in a Chinese-language statement posted on his ministry's website www.mofcom.gov.cn).

"Currently, trade protectionism is seriously affecting the stable development of Sino-US trade and economic relations, and the US should fully grasp the severity of this problem."

The warning reflected the increasingly testy trade relations between China and the United States.

Washington has said Beijing is unfairly keeping its exports cheap by holding down the value of its yuan currency, and is frustrating US companies seeking to expand business in China.

 

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