World

China says trade issues with US can ‘definitely’ be resolved

BEIJING : China said yesterday the thorny trade issues plaguing relations with the US are resolvable after fractious talks between the two were kick-started by the Trump-Xi meeting in Japan.

Washington and Beijing have hit each other with punitive tariffs covering more than US$360 billion (S$490 billion) in two-way trade.

US President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed to revive negotiations when they met on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka on June 29.

"China's core concerns must be properly resolved, we believe that the two sides can take care of each other's legitimate concerns through dialogue as equals," said Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng. "We will definitely be able to find solutions to the problems."

Top US and Chinese negotiators held phone talks on Tuesday, but it remains unclear if the rupture formed after talks broke down in May can be patched over.

Since the breakdown, China's state media has taken a increasingly nationalistic tone, putting out articles and commentaries blasting the US and its tariffs.

Beijing has also outlined three core concerns it says must be met in order to reach a deal: cancelling all punitive tariffs imposed during the trade war, reaching a more reasonable figure for Chinese purchases of US goods and ensuring a more "balanced" text of the trade agreement.

Yesterday, Beijing also called for the US to immediately drop sanctions against Chinese tech giant Huawei, which was blacklisted in May over national security concerns.

"We have noted Huawei and other Chinese entities are still on the US export control list, we urge the US to really fulfil its promises and immediately stop using state power to beat down Chinese companies," Mr Gao said.

Mr Trump previously said he could "imagine Huawei being included in some form or some part of a trade deal", and in Osaka agreed to soften some restrictions on sales of crucial US components to the company. - AFP

WORLD