January 20, 2019

China protests United States warship as trade talks start

08 January 2019, 04:32 | Austin Hogan

Trump likely to meet with Chinese VP Wang in Davos, newspaper source says

US and China agreed to hold trade talks on January 7-8 on Beijing

U.S. officials are meeting their counterparts in Beijing this week for the first face-to-face talks since U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping agreed in December agreed to a 90-day truce in a trade war that has roiled global markets. "Their economy's not doing very well", he told reporters on Sunday. "I don't think it will proceed that fast.

Of course, in the past two years of trade talks, China has also promised a lot, but has not fundamentally fulfilled much of them", Qin told NTD Television, in an interview.

Righting the yawning trade imbalance with China, possibly involving more USA fuel exports, would be "easiest", he said, while structural reforms would be "much harder".

The president has taken heart in China's faltering economy, repeating that it makes Beijing more likely to strike a deal.

Last year, both countries imposed billions of dollars of tariffs on one another's goods.

The Chinese military has moved to intercept USA warships sailing through the contested South China Sea in the latest of what has been a series of tense encounters involving the two powers in the Asia-Pacific region.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, in charge of the overall talks with China, is expected to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, Xi's top economic adviser, later this month.

Data last week showed manufacturing has slowed in both China and the United States, though the U.S. Labour Department on Friday reported a surge in new jobs in December along with higher wages.

The two-day talks mark the first formal meeting since the pair agreed to refrain from any further tariffs for 90 days.

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Speaking at a conference on China organized by the Swiss bank UBS, former Goldman executive Fred Hu said that China not only could not but should not dismantle its economic system in favor of a market-based economy, according to Bloomberg.

If there is no discernible progress towards a trade deal this week - higher level follow-up talks are planned later this month - it is probable that there will be another eruption of financial markets turbulence.

"Adding to that, there are concerns over state-sponsored cybersecurity attacks and a slowdown in Chinese economic growth, which itself has roiled markets", Noguchi said.

US President Donald Trump (right) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) attend a working dinner after the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires December 1, 2018.

Beijing has tried in vain to recruit France, Germany, South Korea and other governments as allies against Trump, but they have echoed USA complaints about Chinese industrial policy and market barriers.

The sell-off dropped Apple to fourth place in terms of US companies by market capitalization.

The negotiations are to address issues including intellectual property, agriculture and industrial purchases, two people familiar with the preparations said.

Chinese exports to the USA held up through late 2018 despite Mr. Trump's tariffs.

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