More trade talks likely in US

Chi­nese vice pre­mier could go to Wash­ing­ton

Global Times - Weekend - - WORLD -

Trade talks be­tween China and the US are likely to con­tinue as for­eign me­dia re­ported that Chi­nese Vice Pre­mier Liu He is “most likely” to visit Wash­ing­ton later this month.

US Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Steven Mnuchin said on Thurs­day that Liu is likely to visit the US later this month and con­tinue trade talks, after the two coun­tries ended their ex­tended ne­go­ti­a­tions in Bei­jing this week, Reuters re­ported.

Asked about a pos­si­ble trip to Wash­ing­ton by Liu, who is lead­ing the Chi­nese ne­go­ti­at­ing team, both Chi­nese Min­istry of Com­merce (MOFCOM) and Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs said that the two sides are in close touch for fu­ture talks, but nei­ther re­vealed de­tails.

Some in­ter­na­tional me­dia re­ports spec­u­lated that Liu would head to the US later this month to meet Mnuchin and Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Robert Lighthizer.

Liu is also sched­uled to at­tend the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum’s an­nual meet­ing in Davos, Switzer­land, later this month.

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump can­celled plans to at­tend the fo­rum amid a par­tial govern­ment shut­down. Mnuchin told re­porters that he was talk­ing with the White House about mak­ing the trip to Switzer­land, where he is likely to meet Liu.

The US govern­ment shut­down would have no im­pact on trade talks be­tween China and the US, he said.

The two sides wrapped up their ex­tended ne­go­ti­a­tions in Bei­jing with of­fi­cials on both sides high­light­ing progress and com­mit­ment to fur­ther talks, but also ex­er­cis­ing cau­tion talk­ing about specifics, lay­ing bare the del­i­cate dy­namic in ne­go­ti­a­tions where both op­por­tu­ni­ties for a fi­nal deal and un­cer­tain­ties co­ex­ist.

At a press brief­ing dom­i­nated by ques­tions on the trade talks on Thurs­day, Gao Feng, spokesper­son for the MOFCOM, said that the talks were “broad, in-depth and de­tailed.”

“Both sides are striv­ing for solidly im­ple­ment­ing the con­sen­sus reached by the lead­ers of the two coun­tries.”

The MOFCOM state­ment on Thurs­day morn­ing men­tioned “trade and struc­tural is­sues” as top­ics, while the US Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive (USTR) re­lease went fur­ther, re­peat­ing long-held griev­ances against China in­clud­ing un­bal­anced trade, mar­ket ac­cess and intellectual prop­erty rights.

“Based on the of­fi­cial state­ments, I am very con­fi­dent that there will be a higher-level con­sul­ta­tion very soon,” Wei Jian­guo, a for­mer vice min­is­ter of com­merce, told the Global Times on Thurs­day, not­ing that a Chi­nese del­e­ga­tion would likely travel to Wash­ing­ton soon.

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