No Contact to Restart Trade Talks With U.S., China Says

(Bloomberg) -- More than a month since the last official talks on the China-U.S. trade war, there are no talks at the moment to restart stalled negotiations between the two nations, according to a Chinese official.

"As far as I know, the two sides don’t have contact to renew talks," Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said at a regular press conference on Thursday in Beijing. "We have said many times that the premise for negotiations is to be faithful and honor one’s own words."

While both sides have hinted at restarting talks, the last official talks were in early June, and since then both sides have imposed tariffs on each other. While the two nations seemed close to a deal in May, the collapse of that left Chinese officials embarrassed and they’re worried that they might get played again, according to three Chinese officials who asked not to be identified discussing strategy.

The U.S. has started and escalated trade tensions to meet its domestic political agenda, and the extreme pressure and blackmail from the U.S. won’t work on China, Gao said, commenting on President Donald Trump’s threat that he is "ready to go" to impose tariffs on all $500 billion in U.S. imports from China.

Gao declined to confirm if the bid by U.S. company Qualcomm Inc. to acquire NXP Semiconductors NV was vetoed by the Chinese government, but stressed that any decision would be about market monopoly and wasn’t related to the trade tensions. NXP announced earlier Thursday that Qualcomm had ended the pact to purchase it.

Gao also said it is a good thing that the U.S. and the European Union could reach a truce on trade, but "China will closely watch to see if the bilateral statement can really be realized."

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