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China hopes for positive results from next round of trade talks with US

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

Agencia EFE Beijing, China Feb 11, 2019, 05.53 PM (IST)

China hopes that the next round of negotiations aimed at ending a trade dispute between China and the United States yields positive results, the foreign ministry said on Monday.

Preparatory meetings were held on Monday with deputy US trade representative Jeffrey Gerrish ahead of the resumption of talks this week in Beijing.

"The two sides will discuss trade topics in more depth," Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a press conference.

"We hope to see a good result from this discussion," she added.

Senior level meetings will be held on Thursday and Friday between Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Hua said.

This week will see the third face-to-face meeting between representatives of both countries since Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart, Donald Trump, agreed on December 1 to declare a 90-day truce to the trade dispute, making March 1 the deadline for finalizing a deal.

Negotiators made "important progress" in the last round of talks, held at the end of January in Washington DC, China's state-owned agency Xinhua reported.

A wide range of topics were discussed during those talks, including trade balance, technology transfer, protection of intellectual property rights, non-tariff barriers, service sector, agriculture and enforcement mechanism, according to Xinhua.

Since the December 1 truce, China has lowered tariffs on vehicles imported from the US, resuming the purchase of soya and submitting a bill to ban the forced transfer of technology, as part of various goodwill gestures.

Meanwhile, Trump temporarily suspended the 10-25 per cent tariff increase on Chinese products valued at $200 billion but threatened to discontinue the plan if a trade agreement is not reached before the expiry of the 90-day term.

The dispute dates from July last year, when the White House announced a series of tariffs would be imposed on Chinese goods, triggering the escalating trade dispute which saw both countries impose reciprocal tariffs on each other's imports.

In his election campaign, Trump had pledged to address the trade imbalance and China's perceived "longtime abuse of the broken international system".

Story highlights

Preparatory meetings were held on Monday with deputy US trade representative Jeffrey Gerrish ahead of the resumption of talks this week in Beijing.