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Trump slapped tariffs on $200bn worth of imports from China and threatened more if Beijing retaliates. On Tuesday, China said it would levy tariffs on $60bn worth of U.S. goods effective from Sept. 24.
President Xi Jinping’s government is preparing for Trump to put duties on all Chinese goods, and expects him to start using the U.S.’s military, technological and financial advantage to pressure Beijing, according to one Chinese official.
“After levying tariffs on all Chinese imports, what can Trump do?” said the official, who asked not to be identified to speak about sensitive matters. “There will be systemic containment and suppression.”
Despite Trump touting a personal “friendship” with Xi, U.S.-China relations have deteriorated on virtually every front under his presidency, from trade to cyber-security to geopolitical flashpoints like Taiwan and the South China Sea. The fear in Beijing is that Trump’s main goal is to keep Beijing permanently in second place in a world dominated by the U.S.
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