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China's state media warns of pain for Trump in trade battle

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Chinese state media hailed their leaders' quick counteroffensive in the brewing trade war with the US and said America would learn a "painful lesson" by tangling with China.

[SHANGHAI] Chinese state media hailed their leaders' quick counteroffensive in the brewing trade war with the US and said America would learn a "painful lesson" by tangling with China.

The articles and editorials across the Communist Party's media stable came even as the country started a long holiday weekend. They emphasised that China was acting only in self-defence, and that the Trump administration's move to levy a 25 per cent tariff on about 1,300 types of Chinese imports was opposed by many in the US.

"As China deploys its counterattack, the pleasure that the US achieved from those tariffs will now cause them suffering as their financial and political gains diminish to zero," the Global Times wrote in an editorial on Thursday. The paper, which sometimes takes more hawkish positions, has run five editorials on the trade issue since Monday.

China said on Wednesday said it would levy an additional 25 per cent tariff on about US$50 billion of US imports, matching the scale of proposed US tariffs announced the day before. The US is allowing 60 days for public feedback, leaving room for talks. China has said its tariffs will take effect when the US ones do.

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The People's Daily, the Communist Party's mouthpiece, hailed the quickness of China's reciprocal tariffs, saying "China showed its sword in less than 24 hours with a reaction that even the Americans must not have anticipated."

It devoted three pages in Thursday's edition to coverage of the tit-for-tat tariffs.

It said that Sino-US ties were no longer that of David and Goliath, but of two equally matched giants, and that US President Donald Trump's incitement of a trade war was out of step with global sentiment. The daily's correspondents based in the US filed an article about how businesses and consumers in the US opposed Trump's tariffs.

The Global Times said China had many more weapons in its arsenal to deploy against the US in the event of a trade war. It could devalue its currency, or promote the yuan as an alternative to the dollar in the global financial system.

BLOOMBERG