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12 August 2017, 10:25 | Terri Saunders
Newspaper: China should stay neutral if N. Korea fires first on US
Trump's threat to investigate China's intellectual property and trade practices is valid, but his administration might not be up to the delicate task of carrying out a new China probe without sparking a damaging trade war, USA business lobbyists said last week.
The official, who was speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that he doesn't believe this will lead to a period of conflict between the US and China, adding, "this is simply business between two countries".
"Trade is trade; national security is national security", said one official, who, like the others, spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with administration practice.
President Trump plans to get tougher on trade with China.
Trump has suggested that he would go easier on China if it were more forceful in getting North Korea to rein in its nuclear weapons program.
Officials at the White House and U.S. Trade Representative's office were not immediately available for comment.
North Korea's military is considering a plan to launch a missile strike on a USA territory it says poses a threat.
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The president plans to sign an executive memorandum Monday afternoon directing his top trade negotiator to determine whether to investigate China for harming intellectual property, innovation and technology, senior administration officials said in a conference call Saturday morning.
When reports of the potential trade investigation first emerged more than a week ago, China's Commerce Ministry stressed the importance of U.S. The North responded with a warning that it was considering an attack on the USA territory of Guam. They added that the trade measure would be carried out under the rules of global law and would not trigger greater conflict with China.
"We would like to emphasize that the Chinese government has always attached importance to intellectual property protection", a spokesman said.
And then on Thursday, when speaking with reporters, Trump said in relation to North Korea, "if China helps us, I feel a lot differently toward trade". "It's not going to continue like that", Trump said from his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. "And I think China will do a lot more".
In addition to the United States, the EU, Japan, Germany and Canada have all expressed concern about China's behavior on intellectual property theft. Instead, he is leading the administration is dusting off a variety of powerful and unilateral measures under US trade law, many of which the United States stopped using after the creation of the WTO, which has its own mechanisms to settle trade disputes.
But experts say China, which accounts for around 90% of North Korea's foreign trade, is unwilling to squeeze Kim's regime hard enough to make it give up on its nuclear program because that would risk the chaotic collapse of a state that Beijing wants to keep as a strategic buffer.
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