Beijing, May 15 (IANS) Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday said that “no civilization is superior over others” and urged countries not to “close their doors and hide behind them” in his first public speech since the US raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods amid an escalating trade war.
Opening the Conference on Asian Civilizations Dialogue here, Xi said there was no need for “civilizations to clash with each other”, reports CNN.
“No civilization is superior over others. The thought that one’s own race and civilization are superior and the inclination to remould or replace other civilizations are just stupid,” he said, adding to do so would invite “catastrophic consequences”.
China retaliated to Trump’s latest round of increases on Monday, raising tariffs on roughly $60 billion worth of US exports.
Speaking at Wednesday’s conference, which featured representatives from 47 countries, Xi praised the achievements of China and other Asian nations over the centuries and said all civilizations needed to learn from each other.
As recently as late April, the US and China appeared to be close to ending the year-long trade war.
But there has been little progress on trade talks since a Chinese delegation left Washington on Friday after the new tariffs went into force.
Both countries have blamed each other for the breakdown in negotiations, with Trump saying on Tuesday that Beijing “broke” the deal.
“We had a deal that was very close and then they broke it. They really did. I mean, more than just, more than renegotiate, they really broke it. So we can’t have that happen,” he said.
There are still hopes for a deal, with a US trade delegation expected to head to Beijing in the coming weeks, CNN reported.
Xi and Trump are also expected to meet in Japan during the G20 in June.