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Diplomacy, Economics

Xi, Trump agree to ease trade tensions

Meeting in Argentina at the sidelines of the G20 charted course for China-US relations for some time.


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Updated: December 3, 2018

President Xi Jinping and his United States counterpart, Donald Trump, agreed on Saturday to continue bilateral trade negotiations, stop the imposition of new tariffs and exchange visits at an appropriate time.

They also agreed to expand cooperation and manage differences on the basis of mutual benefit and respect, as well as to jointly push forward a coordinated, cooperative and stable China-US relationship.

They reached the consensus during a working dinner after the G20 Leaders’ Summit in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires. It was the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders since Trump’s visit to China in November last year.

According to a statement released after the meeting, Xi said that for the world’s two largest economies, it is normal to have some differences in areas of economy and trade.

However, the key is to appropriately manage differences and find solutions acceptable to all, he said.

The two leaders instructed their economic and trade teams to step up negotiations toward the removal of all the earlier-imposed additional tariffs and to reach a mutually beneficial agreement, the statement said.

China will open its market and expand imports based on its new round of reform and opening-up and the demand of the domestic market and the Chinese people, to ease related issues in economy and trade, the statement said.

Both sides agreed that joint efforts should be made to push bilateral trade and economic ties back onto a normal track as soon as possible to realize win-win cooperation.

Xi said that both China and the US should shoulder increasing responsibility for world peace and stability.

A good bilateral relationship is in line with the fundamental interests of the people of both countries, as well as the international community’s common aspirations, the president added.

Cooperation is the best choice for China and the US, and both sides should push forward the long-term, sound and stable development of bilateral ties to better benefit people in both countries and the world, he said.

Xi and Trump agreed to maintain close contact with each other through various means and to exchange visits again at an appropriate time.

The two sides also agreed to strengthen educational and people-to-people exchanges and to enhance cooperation in law enforcement and against illicit drugs, including the new synthetic drug fentanyl.

During the meeting, Xi reiterated China’s stance on the Taiwan question and the US side said it would continue to adhere to the one-China policy, according to the statement.

Both sides also exchanged views on the Korean Peninsula issue.

According to the statement about the meeting, China supports a second meeting between Trump and Kim Jong-un, leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Beijing hopes that Washington and Pyongyang will meet each other halfway, accommodate each other’s reasonable concerns and push forward in parallel on the denuclearization process and the establishment of a peace mechanism on the peninsula, the statement said.

“In a friendly and candid atmosphere, the two presidents had profound discussions that lasted for two and a half hours. The time was much longer than the schedule,” State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters during a briefing on Saturday.

According to Wang, the meeting “charted the course for China-US relations for some time to come”.

The important consensus reached at the meeting not only effectively stopped further escalation of trade tensions but also opened up new prospects for win-win cooperation between the two countries, Wang said.



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About the Author: ANN’s Board member Ms Esther Ng, Malaysia’s The Star’s Chief Content Officer, has been bestowed the 2019 Asian Women Entrepreneurs Leadership Award in the Media and Communications category.

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