Markets buoyed by optimism over US-China trade talks

09 January, 2019, 18:55 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Delegations from China and the US ended talks that had lasted longer than expected. — Reuters pic

While Chinese officials expressed optimism at the start of the two-day talks, Beijing at the same time complained about the sighting of the U.S.S. McCampbell, a warship, in what it said were Chinese waters near disputed islands in the South China Sea.

The world's two biggest economies will continue trade talks in Beijing for an unscheduled third day on Wednesday, U.S. officials said, amid signs of progress on issues including purchases of U.S. farm and energy commodities and increased U.S. access to China's markets.

Asked about the timing of the operation during trade talks, Lu said resolving issues would help both countries and the world.

The talks went ahead despite tensions over the arrest of a Chinese tech executive in Canada on USA charges she misled multinational banks about her company's business dealings in Iran. Yet neither has indicated its stance has changed since a December 1 agreement by Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping to postpone further increases.

"The two sides are in serious talks and working hard to solve the disagreements between them".

Word of progress briefly drove U.S. stocks higher in early morning trading but major indices soon pared much of those gains.

Steven Winberg, assistant secretary for Fossil Energy at the United States department of energy, told reporters in Beijing that the talks, which began on Monday, had gone well.

Key decisions on some of the tougher issues are expected to be left for future rounds of talks, such as U.S. complaints that Beijing's policies force American companies to hand over technology and unfairly boost Chinese firms with subsidies.

Trump imposed import tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods previous year and has threatened more to pressure Beijing to change its practices on issues ranging from industrial subsidies to intellectual property to hacking.

China is keen to put an end to its trade dispute with the United States but will not make any "unreasonable concessions", and any agreement must involve compromise on both sides, state newspaper the China Daily said on Wednesday (Jan 9).

United States commerce secretary Wilbur Ross signalled in a TV interview on Monday that there was a "very good chance" of reaching an agreement.

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Without a resolution, punitive USA duty rates on $200 billion in Chinese goods are due to rise to 25 percent from 10 percent on March 2.

Shanghai economist Andy Xie says the talks wouldn't have been extended if they were going poorly. If a "REAL" deal with China is possible, the USA will "get it done", Trump tweeted shortly after his dinner with Jinping last month.

But Bonnie Glaser, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the timing of the North Korean leader's arrival could be coincidental.

"From what I know, the trade talks, though arduous, were conducted in a pleasant and candid atmosphere".

"China's ability to use (North Korea) as leverage has diminished considerably since Trump opened his own channel to Kim", she said.

As the talks began Monday at the Chinese Commerce Ministry, Beijing complained about a USA warship in what it said were Chinese waters, but it was unclear whether that would disrupt the proceedings.

"From the beginning we have believed that China U.S. trade friction is not a positive situation for either country or the world economy", Lu said.

"These issues are much more hard to solve immediately but are, frankly, much more compelling to US companies", said Jake Parker, vice president for China operations of the US-China Business Council, which represents American companies that do business with China. "The US is very clear about China's stance".

China's foreign ministry confirmed the negotiations had ended in Beijing but declined to comment on the outcome, saying details would be released later.

China called it a violation of its sovereignty that has damaged "peace, safety and order" in the waterway.



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