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Xi Jinping signals China is preparing for ‘Long March’ in US trade war

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Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called on the country to “make a new start” and signalled that the trade war with the US is far from over.

During a speech in China’s southeast Jiangxi province, Xi told cheering crowds that the nation was embarking on a “new Long March” and encouraged the country to remain resiliant in the face of hardship.

“Now there is a new Long March, and we should make a new start,” Xi said Monday during his first national t0ur since the US-China trade war intensified this month with a series of tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars worth of imports.

Xi’s remarks had cultural significance for residents of Jiangxi, historically known as the starting point for the 6,000 mile trek referred to as the Long March of 1934, which eventually led to the ousting of the Nationalist forces by the Communist Party and the emergence of Mao Zedong as China’s leader.

The Chinese president’s recent actions have been interpreted attacks on US President Donald Trump as the trade war between the two nations rages on. On Monday, Xi was photographed at a rare earth magnet factory in eastern China, a highly publicized stunt that suggests China may be planning to weaponize its rare earth materials, which are used in a wide range of hi-tech US products such as smartphones and electric cars.

Read more: Beijing calls for a ‘people’s war’ against the US as Trump threatens tariffs on another $300 billion of Chinese goods in all-out trade battle

As the two countries remain at odds over trade, a new battle is being fought between US and Chinese tech companies.

Last week, the Trump administration added Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei to a trade blacklist, which prevents the company from buying parts and components from American companies without US government approval. The move could have a dramatic effect on Huawei’s operations, as the company relies heavily on US components.

Google responded to the ban by reportedly suspending its business with Huawei and dropping its licensing on Android, which prevents users from receiving critical updates. Several other major US tech suppliers also reportedly cut ties with the company.

On Tuesday, Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei told Chinese media that the company is “ fully prepared” for a clash with the US, which he considers inevitable as the company works towards becoming a global tech leader.

“We sacrificed [the interests of] individuals and families for the sake of an ideal, to stand at the top of the world,” Ren said in an interview.

“For this ideal, there will be conflict with the United States sooner or later.”

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