Tusk barb at Trump

US-China trade war: Beijing's trade surplus swells as exporters rush shipments before tariffs go into effect

But it might help Beijing rally support from governments that criticized Trump for going outside the WTO to impose tariffs on Chinese and other imports.

The record surplus "won't help already sour relations and escalating tensions", Jonas Short, head of the Beijing office at Everbright Sun Hung Kai, wrote in a note.

Beijing has said it would retaliate for that, and on Monday the Commerce Ministry said it had added the $200 billion tariff threat to existing WTO complaints which it has lodged against Washington.

The latest US tariffs were announced days after China retaliated for an earlier round of USA import taxes of up to 25 percent on items worth approximately $50 billion.

Trade has shrunk as a share of China's economy but the conflict with Washington threatens to dent growth. Chinese stocks fell into bear market territory and the yuan currency has skidded, though there have been signs in recent days its central bank is moving to slow the currency's declines.

In taxing imported steel and aluminum from some countries in March and others in June, President Donald Trump deployed a little-used weapon in American trade policy: Under the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, presidents are empowered to impose unlimited tariffs on imports that the Commerce Department asserts are threats to America's national security.

China's commerce ministry confirmed last month that Chinese exporters were front-loading exports to the U.S. to get ahead of expected tariffs - a situation that could exacerbate any slowdown in shipments toward the year-end.

"It is a common duty of Europe and China, America and Russian Federation, not to destroy this world order, but to improve it".

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A general view of a container port in Shanghai. Up to now Beijing has waited for the USA to "fire the first shot" in the escalating trade war.

The ink had barely dried on the first joint statement between China and the European Union in three years before the complaints began. Both official and private business surveys reported softer export orders last month.

The back-and-forth has heightened fears that trading powers will hunker down into a destructive all-out trade war that could hit global growth. "Noone emerges as a victor from a trade war".

"China has made strong pleas to keep markets open and fight protectionism".

Seeking to cusion trade blow?

The comments, from EU Council President Donald Tusk, came as Washington and Beijing stand on the brink of a trade war which many fear could hammer the global economy, while the United States has also picked fights with allies in Europe and Canada.

"This means that China has already become a superpower that independently creates intellectual property", Hua said, according to state-run media Xinhua.

Tusk said the European Union and China had agreed to further develop their strategic partnership after "a fruitful meeting" on Monday morning with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, according to a statement issued by the EU. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, fell $1.35 to $73.98 per barrel.

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