Donald Trump said China was 'raping' the US to boost his election chances, says Chinese minister

The President-elect had told his supporters China should be held responsible for the 'greatest theft in the history of the world'

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Thursday 10 November 2016 19:02
Chancellor Philip Hammond and Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai host a joint press conference
Chancellor Philip Hammond and Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai host a joint press conference

China has dismissed criticism from President-elect Donald Trump that Beijing is responsible for “raping” the US with its trade policies, claiming the incendiary rhetoric was to boost his election chances.

The comments from Chinese official came after Chancellor Philip Hammond shared a platform with Ma Kai, one of China’s vice-premiers and hailed a “truly golden era of relations” between London and Beijing.

During the presidential campaign Mr Trump, then the Republican nominee accused China of “raping” the United States with its trade policy and added the country should be held responsible for the “greatest theft in the history of the world”. In his manifesto material the President-elect said that he would direct his newly appointed Treasury Secretary to “label China a currency manipulator”.

But on Thursday Shi Yaobin, the vice-minister in China’s Ministry of Finance, told reporters at Lancaster House via a translator when asked about the comments from Mr Trump: "During the presidential campaign in the United States he has made some rhetoric as the candidate of the Republican party… I think he said those words in order to boost his chances of being elected as President and it’s all for the purpose of the election.

“I want to say that the US is the world’s largest economy and China is the second largest economy. There are immense economic strategies and cooperation between the two countries.

Mr Yaobin went on to emphasise the economic cooperation between Washington and Beijing and claimed the situation was a “win-win” for both parties. “I think this fact should be recognised by President-elect and also the people’s of the two countries,” he added.

Earlier in the session – the eighth UK-China Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) – Mr Hammond repeatedly hailed a “golden era” in UK-Sino relations.

Among the measures announced on Thursday are a move to the next stage of research in plans to link the London and Shanghai stock exchanges. China has also agreed to gradually raise the 50% limit on foreign ownership for securities and mutual fund companies to give British firms greater freedom to operate in China.

Mr Hammond said: "Our strategic collaboration and the announcements I've just described are evidence of the continued strengths of this relationship. This eight Economic and Financial Dialogue sets the foundation for a new chapter in our partnership.

"I look forward to working with vice premier Ma to give effect to our commitments and thus contribute to delivering a golden era in UK-China relations."

China’s vice-premier Mr Kai added: "This year marks the beginning of the golden era of China-UK relations and next year will mark the 45th anniversary of the ambassadorial diplomatic relations between our two countries.

"Our economic cooperation is now standing at a new historical starting point, it is full of opportunities and so much can be done.

"We will continue to use the EFD to continuously deepen our comprehensive cooperation in economy and trade, jointly advance our global comprehensive strategic partnership and bring more and greater benefits to our people."

But Mr Hammond also said that the Chinese dumping of low cost steel on the international market remained a problem. While acknowledging the work China had done to reduce its overall output, the Chancellor also insisted the EU still needed to find a way to protect themselves against “market distorting trade patterns”.

Steel dumping has been partially blamed for the crisis engulfing Britain's industry and Mr Hammond raised the issue during talks with Chinese vice premier Ma Kai in London.

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