Containers are seen at a port in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, China, May 28, 2019.
Containers are seen at a port in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, China, May 28, 2019.

China on Friday accused the United States of repeatedly lying after President Donald Trump said trade war tariffs were having a “devastating effect” on the Asian country’s economy.

“The U.S. side has said such lies not just once or twice. Every time China exposes them in time, but the U.S. seems to be very persistent, even obsessed, and keeps repeating these lies,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular press briefing.

Trump hiked tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods earlier this month as talks in Washington failed to produce a deal after he accused Beijing of reneging on its commitments.

“The tariffs are having a devastating effect on China. People are fleeing the country with their companies,” Trump said, though he fails to mention that US importers and consumers bear the brunt of the cost of tariffs on products coming into the United States.

“I can tell you, China very much wants to make a deal,” he said. “China is becoming a very weakened nation.”

China is preparing to retaliate with an increase in tariffs on $60 billion in US goods to take effect on Saturday.

“I would like to warn the American side not to overestimate their own rumor-making ability, nor underestimate the judgment of others. The real spirit does not come from repeated lies and fallacies, or some illusion of self-weaving,” Geng said.