China, U.S. to restart trade talks but China says demands must be met


China said on Thursday it meant U.S. officials would bring a problem-solving opinion of renewed trade talks in advance of a meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping next week in Japan.

Discussions to reach a broad trade deal broke down last month after U.S. officials accused China of backing from previously agreed commitments.

A telephone call between Trump and Xi on Tuesday, along with confirmation the two will meet in Japan on the sidelines of a Group of 20 summit, have rekindled hopes of a detente.

“The heads of the two trade teams will communicate, according to instructions passed down from the two presidents,” Chinese commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng told reporters.

“We hope (the United States) will create the necessary conditions and atmosphere for solving problems through dialogue as equals.”

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Wednesday he would speak by telephone to Liu He, China’s vice premier and chief negotiator in the trade talks, “in the next day and a half.”

The two countries have made tariffs on each other’s imports, disrupting global supply chains and roiling financial markets. China has vowed to not give in to U.S. pressure on problems of principle.

Trump has risked extending tariffs to another $300 billion worth of goods, covering nearly all outstanding Chinese imports into the United States, including consumer products like cellphones, computers and clothing.

China states 3 main sticking points remain between the two sides in trade negotiations. They are the eliminating tariffs imposed in the trade war, the scale of goods purchases from the United States that China will make to reduce the trade imbalance between the two, and the need for a “balanced” text for any trade deal. Those “matters of principle” cannot be compromised, China has said.

However, Gao still stated optimism about the chance of agreement on issues like structural economic reform, implementation, protection of intellectual property (IP) rights and market opening.

“Both sides have immense mutual interests. I believe by taking care of each other’s concerns through equal dialogue, both sides will for sure be able to find a solution to solve the problems properly,” Gao said.


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