Chinese FM: Xi-Trump meeting indicates direction of two countries' relations

03 December, 2018, 00:23 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • President Donald Trump smiles alongside President Xi Jinping of China in Buenos Aires on Saturday

Mr. Trump said he plans to move forward with increasing tariff levels on Chinese products to 25 percent in January, saying in a Wall Street Journal interview Wednesday that it is "highly unlikely" that he would comply with China's request to hold off on the increase.

The steps temporarily pause an escalating confrontation between the world's two largest economies that has rattled world markets.

The communique, issued after their two-day summit in Buenos Aires, also emphasized the importance of reforming the functioning of the World Trade Organization, apparently targeting China's alleged unfair business practices.

"This was an awesome and productive meeting with unlimited possibilities for both the United States and China", Trump said in a statement issued from Air Force One as he returned to Washington.

"This is good news for both countries, and a relief for the worldwide community", Xinhua said.

If he can not get a deal with Xi, he has vowed to more than double most of those tariffs on January 1 and he has threatened to expand tariffs to virtually everything China ships to the US.

In May, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin declared the trade war "on hold" after Beijing agreed to increase its purchases of USA soybeans and liquefied natural gas - a move that could have put a dent in China's massive trade surplus with the United States.

"This was a rare opportunity for China because (the mid-terms) made Trump a lame president. It is my great honor to be working with President Xi". "China is unlikely to compromise on this issue", the professor noted.

Indeed, the truce is only partial.

Both sides have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of goods.

Trump imposed 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods in September.

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The meeting was the first face-to-face encounter between the leaders in more than a year, a period that saw Trump impose tariffs on billions of dollars in Chinese imports in a bid to force Beijing to halt trade practices the USA considers unfair.

The editor of a major Chinese state-run newspaper also said the talks went well.

The first day of the summit offered a glimmer of hope for progress between Washington and Beijing despite President Donald Trump's earlier threat of new tariffs on China, which would increase tensions already weighing on global financial markets.

It noted also that China did not mention United States calls for deep structural changes in its economic policies.

In August, Trump claimed on Twitter Chinese suppliers are fueling America's opioid crisis.

Kenneth Jarrett, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, called the news out of Argentina "positive and encouraging".

Beijing meanwhile has accused the United States of starting "the largest trade war in economic history".

FILE - Plastic bags of fentanyl are displayed at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection area at the International Mail Facility at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Nov. 29, 2017. Trump and his officials signaled that they would not back down unless China fundamentally changed its attitude.

Crucially, the trade truce makes no mention of China's tech ambitions.

At the summit, the G20 is also expected to have discussed how to deal with China's so-called debt trap, in which countries receiving massive loans from China end up giving up control of key infrastructure after the debts become unpayable.

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