Trump: China trade talks going well, will meet Xi in near future

Trump appeared to be optimistic about the talks, but he said he wants to meet China's Xi before making final deal.

    Top Chinese and US trade officials began two-day face-to-face trade talks in Washington, DC on Wednesday [Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP]
    Top Chinese and US trade officials began two-day face-to-face trade talks in Washington, DC on Wednesday [Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP]

    US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that trade talks between US and Chinese negotiators are "going well", but no deal will be finalised until he meets Chinese President Xi Jinping "in the near future". 

    According to the Wall Street Journal, China trade negotiators proposed a meeting between Xi and Trump in China next month, but the White House has not confirmed a potential summit. 

    Trump is expected to meet Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at the White House later on Thursday.

    The US and China opened a pivotal round of talks on Wednesday aimed at bridging deep differences over China's intellectual property and technology transfer practices and easing a months-long tariff war.

    Ahead of his meeting with the vice premier, Trump tweeted, "China's top trade negotiators are in the US meeting with our representatives. Meetings are going well with good intent and spirit on both sides." 

    He also insisted "no final deal will be made until my friend President Xi, and I, meet in the near future to discuss and agree on some of the long standing and more difficult points." 

    'China must open markets'

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    In another tweet on Thursday, Trump warned that a trade deal with China would be unacceptable unless Beijing opened its markets to US financial services, manufacturing, agriculture and other industries.

    "Looking for China to open their Markets not only to Financial Services, which they are now doing, but also to our Manufacturing, Farmers and other US businesses and industries. Without this a deal would be unacceptable!" Trump said. 

    The two sides have just a month remaining in a 90-day truce declared in December. Should the talks fail, US import duties on $200bn in Chinese imports are due to more than double on March 2 - something economists say could help knock the wind out of the global economy's sails.

    But Washington's aggressive prosecution of Chinese telecoms firm Huawei - which federal prosecutors accused this week of industrial espionage, sanctions violations and fraud - threatened to upend the talks, drawing irate objections from Beijing. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross have insisted there is no link between the trade talks and Huawei case. 

    "China's representatives and I are trying to do a complete deal, leaving NOTHING unresolved on the table. All of the many problems are being discussed and will be hopefully resolved. Tariffs on China increase to 25% on March 1st, so all working hard to complete by that date!" Trump tweeted. 

    SOURCE: News agencies