>> China US relations are at risk of being poisoned. That's the word from state media in Beijing on Monday, ahead of Donald Trump's possible probe into alleged unfair trade practices that force US companies operating in China to hand over their intellectual property. It comes after months of Trump blowing hot and cold with Beijing over North Korea.
Also on Monday, the message from China's foreign ministry, politics and trade are separate issues. Reuters correspondent Michael Martina is in Beijing.>> China has once again reiterated that it doesn't want a trade war with United States. And that such a trade war would be severely detrimental to both sides
>> Trump has repeatedly hinted that if China were to help rein in North Korea, he would be perhaps more lenient with China when it comes to trade. And so today, China's foreign ministry criticized that kind of approach, saying there was no link between trade and North Korea. And that using trade to exert any kind of political pressure was inappropriate
>> An investigation into Beijing's policy could ultimately lead to steep tariffs on Chinese goods. However, insiders say if there's any real conflict on trade, China can take the hit.>> So when you speak to Chinese trade experts, there's a sense that China feels better positioned to weather sort of the fallout from any kind of radical trade tactics.
>> Essentially, the feeling is that, among Chinese trade experts, is that the United States and its politicians and electorates simply don't have the stomach for a full-blown trade war. Monday's edition of the China Daily Newspaper criticized his quote, Trump's transactional approach to foreign affairs, warning him against an irrational decision that he'll end up regretting.
And that they say will only drag down the US economy. Trump is expected to order his top trade advisor to make a call on a probe into Chinese practices later on Monday.