China, US hold talks to end trade war

China, US hold talks to end trade war
Aides gesture as US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, left, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He (2nd right), and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (2nd lft) on Thursday.
By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 2/14/2019 12:07:03 PM IST

Top trade negotiators from the US and China began their talks in "good spirits" here on Thursday amid the optimism generated by President Donald Trump's remarks about extending the March 1 deadline for the world's two largest economies to reach a trade deal.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and his Chinese counterpart Vice Premier Liu He met in Beijing to take the talks forward from their recent meeting in Washington on the topics of trade balance, technology transfer, protection of intellectual property rights (IPR), non-tariff barriers, service sector, agriculture and enforcement mechanism.
Besides Lighthizer, described as a hardliner on China by the Chinese media, the US team also included Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and David Malpass, a Treasury undersecretary who is Trump's nominee for World Bank president.
"Smiling faces, interesting photos – China, US kick off new trade talks in good spirits," state-run Global Times tabloid headlined its story on the commencement of talks.
"The mood has changed for the extremely complicated and often tense negotiations between China and the US over their trade issues, or so it seems, judging from photos and other details emerging from the latest round of talks," it said.
Parrying questions on the likely outcome of the talks, China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said the top trade negotiators from the US and China be given the best convenience to focus on their job for the benefit of both countries and the global economy.
"The best thing we could do now is to let the negotiators concentrate on their negotiations," she said when asked about the possible outcome of the talks.
All eyes are on the ongoing trade talks, as its results are linked to the whole world's economic growth and stability, Hua said.
As the talks began the new official data said China's export growth to the US slowed in January compared with December, while the imports slide widened, indicating a bleak trade picture between the two economies.
China's imports from the US edged down by 38.6 per cent year-on-year to USD 9.4 billion in January, compared with a 2.3 per cent yearly decline in December, Global Times reported.
In terms of exports, China exported USD 279.4 billion-yuan worth of goods to the US in January, up by 1.9 per cent year-on-year, but slowing from the 8.6 per cent growth seen in the previous month, according to data revealed by the General Administration of Customs on Thursday.
China's January trade surplus with the US widened by 31.2 per cent to hit 188.4 billion yuan, according to the data.
Amid the ongoing trade war, China's economy sank to a 28-year low in 2018 slowing down to 6.6 per cent year-on-year. It was the lowest growth since 1990.

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