China, U.S. trade teams to hold talks

Source: By Yawen Chen and Ryan Woo, Reuters • Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2019

BEIJING (Reuters) – Top Chinese and U.S. officials will hold trade talks following instructions from their leaders, the Chinese commerce ministry said on Thursday, adding that Beijing hoped Washington would create the necessary conditions for dialogue.

China hopes the United States will listen to its industry and stop threatening tariffs and waging a trade war, commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng told reporters at a regular briefing.

Trade talks between the world’s two largest economies collapsed last month, with U.S. President Donald Trump accusing China of watering down its commitments. Trump raised tariffs on Chinese goods and has threatened even more.

In a telephone call with Trump on Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to meet his U.S. counterpart in Japan’s western city of Osaka at the G20 summit at the end of next week.

Three main differences remain, including the removal of all the additional tariffs, Beijing says. Both sides have disagreed over trade purchases and a “balanced” text for any trade deal.

Those three “matters of principle” cannot be compromised, China has said.

Asked if China’s precondition for restarting talks was still tied to the three issues being met, Gao said its basic stance on the trade talks was consistent, and its fundamental demands must be met.

(This story was refiled to insert dropped word “spokesman” in paragraph 2)

Reporting by Yawen Chen and Ryan Woo; Editing by Clarence Fernandez