Beijing, Washington Set For Trade Talks

- Feb 20, 2019-

Negotiations will help relax tensions, reassure global economy, experts say

Vice-Premier Liu He will head to Washington for the seventh round of high-level economic and trade talks from Thursday to Friday at the invitation of the United States, the Ministry of Commerce announced on Tuesday.

Economists said the upcoming round of talks is the latest attempt to relax trade tensions ahead of a March 1 tariff truce deadline despite "remaining differences", and closer contacts to advance common ground are not only a positive sign to companies from both countries, but meaningful in terms of global economic growth.

Liu, who is President Xi Jinping's special envoy and chief of the Chinese delegation in the China-US comprehensive economic dialogue, will meet US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Tuesday that it is the right choice for China and the US to respect each other and enhance cooperation, which is also the common expectation of the international community.

Wang made the remark when meeting in Beijing with a delegation led by Myron Brilliant, executive vice-president and head of international affairs at the US Chamber of Commerce.

Liang Ming, a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said, "Even though China and the US have reached more consensuses and narrowed differences during recent consultations, certain issues still remain."

China and the US had in-depth communication on topics of mutual concern, including technology transfers, intellectual property rights protection, nontariff barriers, the service sector, agriculture, the trade balance and an implementation mechanism in Beijing last week.

The two sides said they will step up their work within the time limit for consultations set by both heads of state, and strive for consensus.