US President, Donald Trump has said he thought recent discussions in Beijing would be successful as the Chinese government says China and the United States have agreed to keep talking about their trade dispute.
The slightly more optimistic comments came after both sides ramped up their trade war, with China announcing details of new tariffs against US imports on Monday, following the United States’ move last week to target Chinese imports, 9news said.
The US Trade Representative’s office said it planned to hold a public hearing next month on the possibility of imposing duties of up to 25 per cent on a further $US300 billion worth of imports from China.
Mobile phones and laptops would be included in that list but pharmaceuticals would be excluded, the office said.
The prospect of the global economy being derailed by the United States and China sliding into a fiercer, more protracted dispute has rattled investors and led to a sharp sell-off on equities markets in the past week.
“My understanding is that China and the United States have agreed to continue pursuing relevant discussions. As for how they are pursued, I think that hinges upon further consultations between the two sides,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing on Tuesday, without giving details.
But China will not be bullied, he added.
“We hope that the US side does not misjudge the situation and not underestimate China’s determination and will to safeguard its interests.”
Sources have said talks stalled after China tried to delete commitments from a draft agreement that its laws would be changed to enact new policies on issues from intellectual property protection to forced technology transfers.
Geng said China had shown sincerity by still sending a high level delegation to the United States for talks last week and that China has remained calm in the face of pressure.
The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.7 per cent and the blue chip CSI 300 was 0.6 per cent lower on Tuesday. But both indexes rebounded from opening down 1 per cent, supported by suspected state-backed purchases.
However, the onshore yuan weakened 0.1 peer cent to its lowest level since December 27, 2018, trading at 6.8874 per dollar, after the foreign ministry said it hopes the US does not underestimate its determination to defend its interests.
The ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily said in a commentary that China was not to blame for the huge trade deficit the US runs, and China was a hugely profitable market for US companies.
Trump said he would talk to Xi at a G20 summit in late June.
“Maybe something will happen,” Trump said in remarks at the White House on Monday. “We’re going to be meeting, as you know, at the G20 in Japan and that’ll be, I think, probably a very fruitful meeting.”
Speaking several hours later at a dinner gathering at the White House, Trump said it should be clear in “three or four weeks” if a US trade delegation’s trip to Beijing two weeks ago was successful.
“I have a feeling it’s going to be very successful,” he said.