China vows it will act promptly on US trade pact
YEMEN’S warring sides began peace negotiations in Sweden yesterday, with UN special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths describing the meeting as “an important milestone”.
“After two and a half years without a formal political process, the convening of the two delegations here is an important milestone,” Griffiths said in the Swedish town of Rimbo.
Yemen, one of the Arab world’s poorest countries, has been embroiled in a disastrous power struggle between government forces and the Houthi rebels since late 2014. A Saudi-led coalition has been fighting the Iran-linked rebels since March 2015.
Representatives from Yemen’s Saudi-backed government and the Houthi rebels were seated in the same room yesterday facing each other as Griffiths and Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom gave statements.
“It’s now up to you, the Yemeni parties, to truly engage constructively and in good faith,” Wallstrom said. | dpa CHINA’S government said yesterday that it would promptly carry out a tariff ceasefire with Washington and was confident they could reach a trade agreement, suggesting Beijing wants to avoid disruptions due to the arrest of a tech executive.
Talks during the 90-day period during which President Donald Trump has agreed to suspend US tariff hikes will start by focusing on farm goods, energy and automobiles, said Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Gao Feng.
Asked to confirm whether Beijing promised to buy American goods immediately, Gao said China would “immediately implement the consensus reached by the two sides on farm products, cars and energy”. He said nothing about purchases.
That optimistic tone contrasted with Chinese criticism of Canada’s arrest of an executive of technology giant Huawei, who a Toronto newspaper said was accused by the US of trying to violate trade curbs on Iran.
That suggested President Xi Jinping’s government sees the trade negotiations as too important to disrupt.
President Donald Trump agreed on Saturday to postpone US tariff hikes in a fight over Beijing’s technology policy by 90 days while the two sides negotiated.
China has promised to act quickly but failed to release details. That caused global stock markets to sink on Tuesday after Trump revived threats of tariff hikes, though share prices rebounded following positive Chinese statements on Wednesday.
The two sides will also discuss intellectual property protection, technical co-operation, market access and their trade balance, Gao said. He said they had a “clear timetable and road map”.
“China is full of confidence in reaching an agreement within the next 90 days,” the spokesperson said.
Asked about Trump’s statement that Beijing would cancel tariff hikes on US-made cars, Gao referred reporters to the cabinet’s tax commission.
Trade experts have said 90 days is scant time for resolving sprawling conflicts over technology, state industries and other issues. | AP/ www.mofcom.gov.cn