Date
11 December 2018
Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he believes Chinese leader Xi Jinping had been sincere during their meeting last Saturday in Buenos Aires to hammer out progress over trade. Photo: Reuters
Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he believes Chinese leader Xi Jinping had been sincere during their meeting last Saturday in Buenos Aires to hammer out progress over trade. Photo: Reuters

China ‘confident’ it can reach US trade deal

China said on Wednesday that it will press ahead with trade negotiations with the United States and that it is confident of reaching a deal within 90 days as per an agreed timetable.

In a statement, the commerce ministry said Beijing will try to work quickly to implement specific items already agreed upon, as both sides “actively promote the work of negotiations within 90 days in accordance with a clear timetable and road map,” Reuters reports.

“We are confident in implementation,” the ministry said, calling the latest bilateral talks “very successful”.

The statement came four days after US President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping reached a temporary truce in their trade war following a meeting in Argentina last weekend.

Trump, meanwhile, in a post on Twitter, said he believes Xi had been sincere during their meeting last Saturday to hammer out progress over trade.

“Very strong signals being sent by China once they returned home from their long trip, including stops, from Argentina. Not to sound naive or anything, but I believe President Xi meant every word of what he said at our long and hopefully historic meeting. ALL subjects discussed!” Trump wrote on Wednesday.

The US president a day earlier had said the ceasefire could be extended but warned tariffs would be back on the table if the talks failed and that he would only accept a “real deal” with China.

The threat of further escalation in the trade war between the world’s two largest economies has loomed large over financial markets and the global economy for much of the year, and investors initially greeted the ceasefire with relief.

The mood has quickly soured, however, on skepticism that the two sides can reach a substantive deal on a host of highly divisive issues within the 90-day negotiating period.

Markets continued to slide on Wednesday in part from confusion over the ceasefire’s lack of detail, Reuters noted.

Failure would raise the specter of a major escalation in the trade battle, with fresh US tariff action and Chinese retaliation possibly as early as March.

The White House has said China had committed to start buying more American products and lifting tariff and non-tariff barriers immediately, while beginning talks on structural changes with respect to forced technology transfers and intellectual property protection.

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RC

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