US, China in 'productive' trade talks, says Trump

August 16, 2019 09:01
China is very keen to put an end to the trade war through a deal with Washington, according to Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters

American and Chinese negotiators are engaged in “productive” trade talks, US President Donald Trump said on Thursday, adding that he expects the two sides to meet in September.

“September, the meeting is still on as I understand it, but I think more importantly than September, we’re talking by phone, and we’re having very productive talks,” Reuters quoted Trump as saying.

US and Chinese officials had “a very good conversation” earlier this week, before Washington delayed until Dec. 15 tariffs on over US$150 billion in Chinese imports, according to the US president.

Nonetheless, China on Thursday vowed to counter the latest US tariffs on US$300 billion of Chinese goods and called on the United States to meet it halfway on a potential trade deal.

Trump said he did not think Beijing will retaliate for the US tariffs and that he believes China wants to make a trade deal.

“I think we’re having very good discussions with China. They very much want to make a deal,” Trump told reporters. He said he has a call scheduled soon with Chinese President Xi Jinping, but he did not say when.

“I think the longer it goes the stronger we get,” Trump said of the trade war. “I have a feeling it’s going to go fairly short,” he said.

China's finance ministry said in a statement that Washington's tariffs violated a consensus reached between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at a June summit in Japan to resolve their disputes via negotiation.

"We hope the US will meet China halfway, and implement the consensus of the two heads of the two countries in Osaka,” a ministry spokeswoman said.

China hopes to find mutually acceptable solutions through dialogue and consultation on the basis of equality and mutual respect, she added.

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