China 'has good faith' to settle trade war issues

Top News | REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 8 Jan 2019

China has the "good faith" to work with the United States to resolve trade frictions, the Foreign Ministry says, as the world's two largest economies resume talks in a bid to end their trade dispute.

US officials met their counterparts in Beijing yesterday - the first face-to-face talks since President Xi Jinping and US counterpart Donald Trump agreed last month to a 90-day truce in a trade war that has roiled global markets.

Both sides plan to continue talks today. By yesterday afternoon, few details had emerged of the talks.

In a television interview in Washington, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said the United States and China are likely to reach a good settlement over immediate trade issues while an agreement on structural trade issues and enforcement will be harder.

Before the US team landed in Beijing, Trump said trade talks with China are going very well and that weakness in the mainland economy gives Beijing a reason to work toward a deal.

The two sides agreed to hold "positive and constructive" dialogue to resolve economic and trade disputes in accordance with the consensus reached by the countries' leaders, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.

"From the beginning we have believed that China-US trade friction is not a positive situation for either country or the world economy. China has the good faith, on the basis of mutual respect and equality, to resolve the bilateral trade frictions," Lu said.

Trump imposed import tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods last year and has threatened more to pressure Beijing to change its practices on issues ranging from industrial subsidies to intellectual property to hacking. China has retaliated with tariffs of its own.

"As for whether the Chinese economy is good or not, I have already explained this. China's development has ample tenacity and huge potential," Lu said. "We have firm confidence in the strong long-term fundamentals of the Chinese economy."

Lu said Vice President Wang Qishan will attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, later this month, but added that he had not yet heard of any arrangements for a meeting with Trump there.

The US delegation is led by Deputy US Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish.

Tu Xinquan, a Chinese trade expert at Beijing's University of International Business and Economics, said the meetings will likely focus on technical issues and leave major disputes to more senior officials.

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