Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso speaks during a press conference in Beijing, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. Aso wrapped up a two-day visit to China with a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Liu Kun on Friday. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Japan's Aso, Chinese officials endorse global trade system

August 31, 2018 - 4:48 am

BEIJING (AP) — Japan's finance minister and Chinese officials have pledged support for the multilateral system of global trade regulation ahead of a possible new round of U.S. tariff hikes in a battle over Beijing's technology policy.

Taro Aso, who was in Beijing for financial talks, made no mention of the U.S.-Chinese tariff war but said Friday the two sides agreed "protectionist measures" help no country.

Aso gave no indication whether they discussed Chinese industrial policies and curbs on foreign business activity that are the core of disputes with Washington, Europe and other trading partners.

Aso said at a news conference, "on trade, we agreed that protectionist measures that lead to inward-looking policies do not benefit any country, and to maintain and propel a multilateral, free and open rules-based trade system."

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