Top Chinese official plays down trade tensions with US

China’s foreign ministry is downplaying trade tensions with the U.S. as a top official heads to Washington for talks aimed at ending a dispute between the two global economic powers. 

“Talks are by their nature a process of discussion. It’s normal for both sides to have differences. China won’t shun problems and is sincere about continuing talks,” said foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, according to Reuters, 

“We hope the U.S. side can work hard with China, to meet each other halfway, and on the basis of mutual respect and equality, resolve each other’s reasonable concerns, and strive for a mutually beneficial, win-win agreement,” he added. “Adding tariffs can’t resolve any problem.” 

His comments came after President TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo says shrinking Arctic sea ice presents ‘new opportunities for trade’ Iowa Republican ousted in 2018 says he will run to reclaim House seat Trump pardons ex-soldier convicted of killing Iraqi prisoner MORE in a tweet on Sunday warned of increased tariffs if a deal is not struck.


Trump tweeted  that tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods would increase on Friday if a deal was not met before then.

“For 10 months, China has been paying Tariffs to the USA of 25% on 50 Billion Dollars of High Tech, and 10% on 200 Billion Dollars of other goods,” Trump wrote. “These payments are partially responsible for our great economic results. The 10% will go up to 25% on Friday.”

….of additional goods sent to us by China remain untaxed, but will be shortly, at a rate of 25%. The Tariffs paid to the USA have had little impact on product cost, mostly borne by China. The Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 5, 2019

U.S. trade officials have also accused China of attempting to walk back previously negotiated language, which U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerChinese, US negotiators fine-tuning details of trade agreement: report The Trump economy keeps roaring ahead Trump says no discussion of extending deadline in Chinese trade talks MORE said this week was “unacceptable.

“Over the course of the last week or so we have seen … an erosion in commitments by China,” Lighthizer said, according to Reuters. “That, in our view, is unacceptable.”

“We’re not breaking off talks at this point. But for now … come Friday there will be tariffs in place,” he added.

China said on Tuesday that Vice Premier Liu He will visit the U.S. for trade talks this week, Reuters noted.

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