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Trade war: China says U.S. talks 'laid ground' to resolve dispute
10 January 2019, 08:26 | Hattie Nash
US official says China trade talks ‘went just fine’ Posted
The two sides "implemented the consensus" reached by President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump in earlier talks, and discussed both trade and structural issues in the meetings, which took place January 7 to January 9.
Speaking at a daily news briefing in Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang confirmed both sides had agreed to extend the talks beyond Monday and Tuesday as originally scheduled.
Three days of US-Chinese talks aimed at ending a costly tariff battle wrapped up Wednesday in an optimistic atmosphere after President Donald Trump said they were "going very well!".
"We can confidently say that enough progress was made that the discussions will continue at a higher level", said Craig Allen, president of the U.S.
Trump, who has been accusing China of indulging in unfair trade practices contributing to the huge trade deficit amounting to United States dollars 375 billion, on Tuesday said the trade talks with Beijing were going on "very well".
"Asian stocks jumped after trade talks were extended for an unscheduled third day, fueling hopes that the world's two largest economies may soon reach a trade deal, putting an end to months of tariffs on each other's goods", reports NPR's Shanghai-based correspondent Rob Schmitz. Prior to the meeting, China made a number of concessions to U.S. demands including temporarily cutting punitive tariffs on US-made cars, resuming soybean purchases, promising to open up its markets for more foreign investment, and drafting a law to prevent forced technology transfers.
So far, the US side has described the exchanges in a positive light.
As evidence mounts by the day that the slowdown in China's economy is worsening, policy makers in Beijing are focusing on getting rid of the duties that Trump has leveled on Chinese goods since past year, according to a former high-level official briefed on the government's thinking.
The talks "improved mutual understanding and laid a foundation for resolving issues of mutual concern", the ministry said.
The US smartphone maker has felt the pinch of the bruising trade spat, and warned that 2018 revenues would miss its forecast - in large part due to a slump in iPhone sales in China. -China Business Council in Beijing.
The mid-level talks were the first face-to-face meeting between the two sides since their leaders met on 1 December 2018.
The Trump administration also wants Beijing to buy more American goods to narrow a yawning trade gap and allow foreign players better access to the Chinese market.
The 90-day time frame is a tight window in which to nail down deep changes to China's economic model, reforms which past US administrations advocated for years and USA lawmakers on both sides of the aisle support. The S&P 500 Index has fallen about 7 percent since Trump and Xi agreed on a 90-day truce at their meeting in Argentina last month.
Trump imposed tariff increases of up to 25 percent on $250 billion of Chinese imports.
Washington has been clamouring for an end to the alleged forced transfer - and even theft - of American technology, as well as steep government subsidies for Chinese companies.
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