July 16 (UPI) -- China is disputing claims from U.S. President Donald Trump the Chinese economy is slowing because of high tariffs imposed by the United States.
Beijing's foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang on Tuesday defended China's 6.3 percent growth in the first half of 2019, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.
"This is a pretty good performance, especially with regard to other major countries around the world," the Chinese spokesman said.
Geng also said it is "misleading" to characterize China as desperate for a settlement of the dispute.
On Monday, Trump had said his policies have played a role in China's relatively low economic growth -- the lowest since 1992.
"The United States Tariffs are having a major effect on companies wanting to leave China for non-tariffed countries. Thousands of companies are leaving. This is why China wants to make a deal with the U.S., and wishes it had not broken the original deal in the first place," Trump tweeted.
Chinese state media is also weighing in on Trump's claims.
Influential Chinese Communist Party paper People's Daily said Tuesday the U.S. assertion the Chinese economy is declining is a "ridiculous" move.
"The claim the high tariffs of the United States has caused difficulties in the Chinese economy, then replicating and spreading the message, is a ridiculous matter," the People's Daily stated.
The Financial Times reported Tuesday Trump's claims could be misleading, because of the changing nature of the Chinese economy.
Slower growth is the outcome of low level of domestic investment and consumer spending in the world's second-largest economy.
"The Trump tensions have contributed to slower growth in China, but the biggest impact has been on sentiment rather than directly from trade," said Andy Rothman, investment strategist at Matthews Asia.