US, Chinese officials extend Beijing trade talks

Gladys Abbott
January 9, 2019

"The Chinese side immediately sent military vessels and aircraft to conduct verification and identification on the US ship and warned it to leave", Lu told the briefing.

The talks went ahead despite tensions over the arrest of a Chinese tech executive in Canada on USA charges related to possible violations of trade sanctions against Iran.

USA delegation member Steven Winberg, who is a United States assistant secretary for fossil energy, said on Tuesday that the talks are going on well so far, according to a report from Reuters.

"Liu's participation in the meeting, held at the ministry's premises, signals that China is attaching high importance to the talks, even if the main participants this time are mid-level officials", Bloomberg wrote.

Neither side gave details of their agenda but Gerrish's delegation includes agriculture, energy, commerce, treasury and State Department officials. China responded by imposing penalties on $110 billion of American goods, slowing customs clearance for USA companies and suspending issuing licenses in finance and other businesses.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who Trump appointed to lead the China talks, is pressing for the U.S.to take a harder line in the negotiations.

The meeting marks the first face-to-face talks between the two governments since Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump agreed to a tariff truce when they met during G-20 summit.

Before the talks ended earlier on Tuesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters at a regular briefing in Beijing that "I believe we will release a detailed readout after they are concluded". China has retaliated with tariffs of its own.

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A USA guided-missile destroyer sailed near disputed islands in the South China Sea in what China called a "provocation" as United States officials joined talks in Beijing during a truce in a bitter trade war.

One Chinese official reportedly described the negotiations as "constructive".

Beijing and Washington have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each other's goods, prompting fears the conflict will dampen global economic growth that is showing signs of slowing.

Mr Ross said there was a "very good chance" of reaching an agreement, although monitoring compliance would present a challenge.

Trump imposed tariff increases of up to 25 percent on $250 billion of Chinese imports over complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims over the South China Sea.

"This trade fight couldn't have come at a worse time for China". Over the past two days, talks have been under way between the U.S. and China to find a way to end the conflict.

The two countries have held meetings over many months, stalling at times.

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 3.4 percent in the third quarter, and unemployment is at a five-decade low. The U.S.is pushing for greater market access in China (which has been accused of making U.S. companies share tech secrets in order to do business there) and it wants China to buy more of its products. They complain China's companies are treated unfairly in national security reviews of proposed corporate acquisitions, though nearly all deals are approved unchanged.

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