China says high-level trade talks with United States have resumed

Lloyd Doyle
November 15, 2018

He and Xi will both attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders summit in Papua New Guinea later this week, but they won't meet.

A ministry spokesman, Gao Feng, said Thursday the two sides are "maintaining close contact" following a November 1 phone call between President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump. "They are not capable of it", said Derek Scissors, a China expert at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, who pointed to the two men's lack of experience in hard trade negotiations.

"We're convinced China knows where we stand".

The US president has repeatedly railed against Beijing over intellectual property theft, industrial subsidies, Chinese entry barriers to American businesses and the US trade deficit with China.

A Treasury spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment late Wednesday.

US-China Business Council President Craig Allen told Reuters last week that he thought it was likely China would withdraw from any process set at the G20 if the Trump administration went forward with raising the tariff rate.

Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng, asked on Thursday about the Chinese response, said that "high-level" contact had resumed since Trump and Xi spoke by phone.

But he said the chasm between the two sides on issues such as Chinese industrial policy and intellectual property theft remained vast and that any post-G20 negotiations were likely to be hard as a result.

"Mnuchin and Kudlow can not create a trade deal".

Given that Liu canceled a trip in September when it looked like the United States was not ready to negotiate, a visit from the top economic advisor to Xi would be a clear sign there is confidence that Trump is ready to consider some form of agreement.

Pence also said he believed that Beijing fully understands the U.S.'s position and the seriousness of its stance in the ongoing trade dispute.

Mnuchin also was behind a framework deal announced in May that Trump later backed away from amid criticism from Democrats and Republicans in Washington that he was going too easy on China.

In comments made before the Chinese response, Wu Baiyi, the director of the Institute of American Studies at the state-run Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that a Jan 1 tariff increase would imperil efforts to reverse trade tensions.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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