Date
5 December 2019
China wants a trade deal on the basis of mutual respect and equality, Xi Jinping says, following a standoff with the US. File photo: Bloomberg
China wants a trade deal on the basis of mutual respect and equality, Xi Jinping says, following a standoff with the US. File photo: Bloomberg

Xi Jinping says keen to work out initial trade deal with US

China wants to work out an initial trade pact with the United States and has been trying to avoid a trade war, but is not afraid to retaliate when necessary, President Xi Jinping said on Friday.

“We want to work for a ‘Phase One’ agreement on the basis of mutual respect and equality,” Xi told representatives of an international forum, according to Reuters. 

“When necessary we will fight back, but we have been working actively to try not to have a trade war. We did not initiate this trade war and this is not something we want, the news agency said, citing a pool report.

Xi was responding to questions from representatives of the New Economy Forum organized by Bloomberg at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

In Beijing on Wednesday, Vice Premier Liu He, China’s chief negotiator in the trade talks, said he was cautiously optimistic on a phase one deal, Bloomberg News said, citing people who attended a dinner event ahead of the forum.

“The two countries should really ink the deal the sooner the better, at least a truce, and that will inject some certainty into the market and the economy,” Hu was quoted as saying.

“Based on this, we can clear out a consensus on complicated structural problems, and strive for a comprehensive final agreement.”

China has invited top US trade negotiators for a new round of face-to-face talks in Beijing, the Wall Street Journal has reported, citing unidentified sources.

Beijing hopes the talks could take place before next Thursday’s US Thanksgiving holiday, according to the report.

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