Chinese state media claims victory in trade dispute so far, saying Beijing’s tariffs will hurt Trump voters

Chinese state media was quick to note what it sees as Beijing’s edge in the increasingly tense trade relationship between the world’s two largest economies.

“China stands firm and wins first battle of Sino-US trade war,” China’s official People’s Daily newspaper said in the headline of a Chinese-language article Thursday.

Beijing’s tariffs “hit [Trump] where it hurts. … The origins of these products are places where people tend to vote for Trump,” the People’s Daily said according to a CNBC translation.

The Trump administration announced late Tuesday proposals for 25 percent tariffs on imports of roughly 1,300 Chinese product lines valued at $50 billion, ranging from machinery to vaccines. Less than 24 hours later, China’s Ministry of Commerce revealed a list of 106 imports from the U.S. that will be subject to a 25 percent tariff, including soybeans and cars.

No effective date for China’s planned tariffs was announced. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has planned a hearing on its proposed duties for May 15.

U.S. President Donald “Trump has already proved himself wrong because China has demonstrated that it can’t be coerced and is fully determined to reciprocate,” a separate, English-language editorial from China Daily said Thursday.

“It’s really time for Trump to give up the useless tariff weapon and come to the negotiation table.”

— With reporting by CNBC’s Eunice Yoon.


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