US-China trade talks said to have progressed

10 Jan 2019

flagsIn a statement issued on Thursday morning, China’s Commerce Ministry addressed the concluded trade talks with the U.S., saying that they were extensive and tackled important concerns from either side.

CNBC provided the translated version of the statement:

“From Jan. 7 to 9, China and the U.S. held discussions in Beijing at a vice-ministerial level over the issue of trade. Both sides enthusiastically implemented the important agreement of the heads of both countries, and held broad, deep and meticulous discussions on shared observations on trade issues and structural problems, laying the foundation for addressing areas of common concern. Both sides agreed to continue to keep in close contact.”

The U.S. had also issued a statement earlier which listed several issues, but also noted China’s willingness to purchase “a substantial amount of agricultural, energy, manufactured goods, and other products and services from the United States.”

The talks, which lasted 3 days, were initially thought to last for a day less. Analysts pointed out that the extra day hinted at the discussions having advanced, while Gao Feng, a spokesman for China’s Commerce Ministry, said that the length of the meeting may have meant that both sides were serious and honest. He also said that specific areas which had been successfully discussed were forced tech transfers and the protection of intellectual property right.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping had agreed to a temporary ceasefire back in early December, which allowed them to extend their trade talks till March before an agreement is made.