China's Premier Li Keqiang waves as he arrives for a news conference after the closing ceremony of China's National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, March 15, 2017. Reuters/Jason Lee

China and the US have to avert a trade war because it would damage both countries as well as the global business environment, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said at a Beijing media briefing on Wednesday.

“We don’t want to see a trade war, which will result in an unfair trade environment and hurt both sides,” Li said after the closing ceremony of the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress.

The world has a huge interest in the success of  Sino-US ties so the relationship between China and the US must develop for the benefit of both countries, he said.

Although China has a trade surplus with the US, more than 90% of the profit generated from the products goes to US companies, while Chinese manufacturers get a profit as low as 2% to 3%, he said.

Sino-US trade and Chinese investments have created more than a million jobs in the US, he said. “Different parties may have different way to handle statistics … no problem. We should sit down and talk and try to reach a consensus.”

He said Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump have talked over the phone and confirmed that both countries will work to develop the Sino-US relationship.

The “One China” policy is the political foundation for cooperation between China and the US, he said, referring to the relationship with Taiwan, which Beijing regards as an integral part of mainland China.

On December 3, Donald Trump, the then president-elect, accepted a phone call from the Taiwanese president, Tsai Ing-wen that generated speculation of a change in US policy towards the island.

China’s foreign ministry urged the relevant parties in the US to abide by the commitment to the One China policy. On February 9, Trump told Xi over the phone that the US would honor the One China policy.

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