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Asia-Pacific

US-China trade talks in attempt to solve crippling trade war

media U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, left, chats with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in 2018 Reuters

US officials held a second day of trade talks with Chinese counterparts in Beijing on Tuesday. This is the first time the two sides have met face-to-face since US President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping agreed to a tariff truce during a meeting in Argentina on 1 December.

The US delegation, which is led by Deputy US Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish and includes officials from the Treasury, Commerce, Agriculture and Energy departments, left its hotel without talking to reporters ahead of the talks.

Negotiators are seeking to resolve a number of thorny issues that have threatened an all-out trade war between the world's two biggest economies.

These include more Chinese purchases of US goods and services to reduce a yawning trade gap, increased access to China's markets, stronger protection of intellectual property and a reduction in Beijing's subsidies to Chinese companies.

Neither side has yet provided any details about the talks in Beijing.

The temporary truce came after the two sides imposed import duties on more than $300 billion of each other's goods.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Monday that China's economy is more vulnerable to the fallout from the trade war.

"It certainly has hurt the Chinese economy," Ross told CNBC, noting that China exports many more goods to the United States than the other way around.

Ross said there was a "very good chance" of reaching an agreement, although monitoring compliance would present a challenge.

Without a resolution, punitive US duty rates on $200 billion in Chinese goods are due to rise to 25 percent from 10 percent on March 2.

Meanwhile, the English website of the People's Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party struck a conciliatory tone, saying that "the China-US relationship will always have its ups and downs, but as a whole, it has been a win for both sides and together the two countries have also created the conditions for world peace and development."
   

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