China Denounces ‘Provocation’ of U.S. Destroyer Sailing in South China Sea

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The discussions marked the first formal talks since the US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed not to impose new tariffs at the G20 summit in December.

From January 7 to 9, a USA delegation was in Beijing for talks about trade issues amid an ongoing 90-day truce in the trade war.

Beijing | China on Thursday said that the just-concluded round of talks with the U.S. to end a trade war were extensive and established a foundation for the resolution of each others' concerns, echoing positive sentiments expressed by American negotiators.

US stocks and European equities jumped as investors awaited developments on trade talks between the world's largest economies.

Citing unidentified Chinese officials involved in the trade talks, Bloomberg reported January 9 that there were disagreements between the two delegations on structural issues, which they hope will be addressed when more senior negotiators meet for talks.

As per the Chinese Commerce Ministry statement, both countries "conducted extensive, in-depth and meticulous exchanges on trade issues and structural issues of common concern, which enhanced mutual understanding and laid the foundation for resolving mutual concerns".

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Trump hiked tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods over complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology.

Washington has called on Beijing to make structural reforms that address state-sponsored intellectual-property theft, discriminatory policies that favor domestic firms over foreign ones, and other unfair trade practices.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross expressed optimism on Monday, telling CNBC that "there's a very good chance that we'll get a reasonable settlement". However, the vice-ministerial talks were extended till Wednesday which China said reflected the seriousness of the negotiations.

The Chinese government is reported to be releasing a statement on the talks tomorrow.

Officials say talks are expected to deliver specific commitments to expand market access for USA in China, improve protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) and reduce the trade surplus with the U.S., but it would take time to reform state-owned firms another major source of friction. Recent reports have claimed negotiators on both sides are making progress as mid-level talks continue in Beijing. It gave no sign of progress in those areas.

"I believe China is buying time and waiting to see how things pan out", Ding said.

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U.S. officials have long complained that China has failed to live up to trade promises, often citing Beijing's pledges to resume imports of American beef that took more than a decade to implement.

China also restarted purchases of American soybeans last month, providing relief for a crop hit by Chinese retaliatory tariffs.

Companies in both countries are feeling pain from the effects of the tariffs. The S&P 500 Index has fallen about 7 percent since Trump and Xi agreed on a 90-day truce at their meeting in Argentina last month.

United States companies also want action on Chinese policies they complain improperly favor local companies.

Interestingly, while officially this was a vice minister-level dialogue, China's top man for the trade negotiations, Vice Premier Liu He, made an appearance anyway. The U.S. delegation - which is being led by Deputy Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish - is requesting China be specific on what U.S. products it will buy and on what specific dates.

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