WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump has said he is willing to negotiate a fair deal with China and want the Asian giant to open its market like the US.
Having slapped China with an additional tariff on the import of its products worth USD250 billion, Trump did not rule out coming up with more tariffs on Chines products.
In an interview with CBS News's popular '60 Minute' programme, Trump described this as a skirmish, and not war or a battle as being characterised by experts, and asserted that he would win this against China.
If things does not improve, he might not have a good relationship with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, he said.
"I have a great chemistry also with President Xi of China. I don't know that that's necessarily going to continue. I told President Xi we cannot continue to have China take USD500 billion a year out of the United States in the form of trade and others things," Trump told CBS news in his interview.
Xi is one of the few world leaders to have been hosted by Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
Trump has travelled to China and has met Xi multiple times after he became the US President On January 20, 2017.
However, the relationship has deteriorated since then and has now reached an all-time low since the historic visit of the then US President Richard Nixon in 1972.
Responding to a question, Trump claimed that China, even if it wants, cannot retaliate beyond a point.
"They can retaliate, but they can't -- they don't have enough ammunition to retaliate. We do USD100 billion (worth of business) with them. They do USD531 billion with us," he said.
He denied that he wanted to push the Chinese economy into depression. "No no, although they're down 32 per cent in four months, which is 1929," he said.
"I don't want that. No, I don't want that. I want them to negotiate a fair deal with us. I want them to open their markets like our markets are open," Trump said, reiterating that he wants a fair deal with China.
Trump exuded confidence that he will win what he described as a "skirmish" with China.
"I called it, actually I called it a battle. But, actually, I'm gonna lower that. I consider it a skirmish. And we're gonna win," he said.