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China says it will seek to reach a "first phase" trade deal with the US.



BEIJING (Reuters) – China will seek to reach initial trade agreement with United States as both sides keep communication channels open, China's Commerce Ministry said on Thursday, in an effort to remove fears that negotiations could solve.

FILE PHOTO: Chinese Trade Ministry Spokesman Gao Feng Attends a Press Conference at the Commerce Ministry in Beijing, China, June 19, 2018. Reuters / Thomas Peter / File Photo

China Ready to Work with US addressing the underlying issues of mutual relations on the basis of equality and mutual respect and we will endeavor to reach an agreement in phase, Gao Feng, a spokesman for the ministry, told reporters.

"This is in line with the interests of both China, the United States and the world," Gao says.

Economists warn that a prolonged trade dispute between China and the United States escalates risks to the global economy by disrupting supply chains, discouraging investment and dampening business confidence.

The completion of a phase that a deal could go through next year was told by trade experts and people close to the White House, as Beijing insists on broader tariff variations and US administrative barbells with increased own requirements.

Beijing officials suggested that Chinese President Xi Jinping and his American counterpart Donald Trump may sign a deal in early December.

Some experts say the next viewing date is December 15, when US tariffs on about $ 156 billion in Chinese goods will come into effect, including holiday gift items such as electronics and Christmas decorations.

Speaking at a dinner in Beijing on Wednesday, China's Deputy Prime Minister Liu He said he was "cautiously optimistic" about phase one of the deal, Bloomberg News reported, referring to people attending the event before a forum organized by Bloomberg LP.

Liu, China's chief negotiator during the trade talks, separately told one of the attendees that he was "confused" about US demands, but was confident that the first phase of the deal could still be completed, however, Bloomberg added.

Gao, asked about the obstacles to this and whether they relate to Washington's demand from China to buy more agricultural commodities in the US and the abolition of tariffs, said there was no more disclosure beyond the fact that both countries would

A former Chinese commerce minister told Reuters that both countries should go back to the time when the trade war initially began.

"We have to go back to our place of origin and cancel all tariffs," Wei Django said on the sidelines of a Bloomberg forum.

Wei said he hoped for a phase one pact, in light of the pressure on the US and Chinese economies as the trade war lasted.

"Now Trump himself is aware of the needs of the (upcoming US elections), and the US economy has also suffered major losses," he said.

"In such circumstances, it is quite possible to reach a step-by-step agreement."

ISSUE OF HONG KONG

A new dispute between Washington and Beijing over US law on Hong Kong also threatened to undermine their trade talks and delay the first phase of the deal. , which investors originally hoped to sign.

On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives passed two bills to support protesters in Hong Kong and send a warning to China about human rights, with Trump expected to sign them into law.

This measure, which angered Beijing, will require the State Department to certify at least once a year that Hong Kong retains sufficient autonomy to be able to accede to the US special trade remuneration, which has helped it become a global financial hub.

It will also provide for sanctions against officials responsible for human rights violations in a Chinese-ruled city.

"We call on the US side to cease this activity, to cease before it is too late and to take measures to prevent these measures from becoming law, to stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China relations," said Gen Shuang, spokesman for China's foreign ministry.

"If they have to insist on taking this wrong path, China will take strong counter-measures," Gen told reporters at a regular briefing on Thursday.

Demonstrators have been protesting on the streets of Hong Kong for months amid mounting violence and fears that Beijing will intensify its response to curb civil disobedience.

FILE PHOTOS: Chinese and American flags blaze near Bund, before US trade delegation meets with Chinese counterparts in Shanghai, China July 30, 2019 Reuters / Aly Song

Trump has 10 days, with except on Sunday, until he signs a bill passed by Congress unless he decides to use his veto.

On Thursday, the main newspaper of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, People & # 39; s Daily, called on the United States to "put the horse at the end of the precipice" and stop interfering with Hong Kong and China's domestic affairs.

"If the US side stubbornly adheres to its course, the Chinese side will inevitably take strong measures for decisive revenge and all the consequences will be borne by the US," the front page says.

Report by Stella Chiu and Ryan Wu; Additional reporting by Yawen Chen and Cate Cadell; Editing by Kim Cogill and Mark Potter

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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