Asia

China says willing to meet US over trade issues on equal footing

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) – China is willing to resolve trade issues with the United States through mutually respectful talks and on an equal footing, said one of the country’s vice commerce ministers Wang Bingnan on Saturday (Nov 3).

Beijing will jointly promote the healthy and stable development of China-US relations, Wang told reporters at a news conference.

US President Donald Trump said on Friday that he will likely make a deal with China on trade, adding that a lot of progress had been made to resolve the two countries’ differences but warning that he still may impose more tariffs on Chinese goods.

“China very much wants to make a deal,” Trump told reporters in Washington just hours after his top economic adviser expressed caution about talk of a possible US-China trade agreement.

“We’ve had a very good discussions with China, we’re getting much closer to doing something,” Trump said before departing the White House for a campaign event.

“I spoke with President Xi (Jinping) yesterday. They very much want to make a deal,” Trump said. “I think we’ll make a deal with China, and I think it will be a very fair deal for everybody, but it will be a good deal for the United States.”

Trump said he will discuss trade with Xi when the two meet for dinner on the sidelines of the G20 leaders’ summit at the end of November in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

His administration has demanded that Beijing make sweeping changes to its policies on intellectual property protections, technology transfers, industrial subsidies and domestic market access, along with steps to reduce a US$375 billion US goods trade deficit with China.

Trump said a deal with China would also be good for Beijing.

“If we can open up China and make it fair, for the first time ever – this should have done years ago by other presidents but it wasn’t – I am very much willing to do it. But China very much wants to make a deal,” he said.

Trump’s comments came a day after a phone call with Xi that he described as “very good”.

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