Thiessen: China goes toe-to-toe with Trump on trade - and trips

Trump at the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires Argentina

Trump at the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires Argentina

US President Donald Trump said in a Twitter statement on 7 December that the trade talks between Washington and Beijing are proceeding well.

Gao confirmed for the first time since the high-stakes meeting that China had agreed to implement consensus reached by both sides on agriculture, energy and cars, although he did not give details on any specific measures.

While at the conclusion of Saturday's working dinner, both the USA and Chinese delegations said that what amounted to a trade war "truce" between the leaders had been reached, the messaging from the White House that followed seemed to only muddy the waters.

The two sides would also discuss intellectual property protection, technology cooperation, market access and fair trade, and "work hard to reach a consensus", Gao said.

President Donald Trump agreed Saturday to postpone USA tariff hikes in a fight over Beijing's technology policy by 90 days while the two sides negotiate.

China and the US will work on intellectual property rights protection, technology cooperation, market access issues and the trade balance in the next 90 days, Gao said, adding that China's goal is to remove all new tariffs within that period.

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The White House has said China agreed to purchase a "very substantial" amount of agricultural, energy, industrial and other products to reduce the trade gap.

But Trump again sought to paint the talks in a more positive light, highlighting a report from Bloomberg that "Chinese officials have begun preparing to restart imports of U.S. Soybeans & Liquified Natural Gas" that were put on hold as a result of the president's initial tariffs.

China has said it will import more United States products to reduce its trade surplus, but no dollar amount has been publicly discussed.

"China is full of confidence in reaching an agreement within the next 90 days", the spokesman said.

That optimistic tone contrasted with Chinese criticism of Canada's arrest of an executive of technology giant Huawei who a Toronto newspaper said is accused by the United States of trying to violate trade curbs on Iran.

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