In this file:


·         Trade talks open in Beijing amid optimism about an end to U.S.-China dispute

·         Xi’s Top Trade Official Unexpectedly Attended China-U.S. Talks

·         China has "good faith" to fix trade issues as talks with U.S. resume

·         China Trade Talks Should Provide Direction



Trade talks open in Beijing amid optimism about an end to U.S.-China dispute


By Anna Fifield and Gerry Shih, The Washington Post

January 7, 2019


BEIJING —  Chinese and American trade negotiators began talks in Beijing Monday amid mounting optimism that they will find a way to finally break the impasse in their rancorous nine-month-long dispute.


Chinese stock markets rose sharply on Monday, partly on hopes for progress on a trade deal. In a sign that the working-level meeting appeared to be off to a good start, China’s economic czar, Vice Premier Liu He, dropped by the talks to spur on the negotiators.


“These talks will have a positive outcome because both sides are trying to deal with the issue in an active and practical manner,” said Wei Jianguo, a former vice commerce minister. “I’m not saying there could be positive results, I think there definitely will be.”


An American delegation led by deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish arrived in Beijing at the weekend for two days of negotiations on Monday and Tuesday. These will be the first face-to-face talks since President Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day cease-fire on Dec. 1.


Trump had vowed to increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent on Jan. 1. But, in return for increased Chinese purchases of American farm and industrial goods, he said he would give the negotiators until March 1 to reach a deal before raising the tariff rates.


“I really believe they want to make a deal,” Trump told reporters at the White House Sunday. “The tariffs have absolutely hurt China very badly.”


But much has changed since Trump and Xi met on the sidelines of the G-20 meeting in Argentina last month.


“It’s an interesting scenario now,” said Ben Cavender, an analyst at China Market Research Group in Shanghai. “Trump would probably like something he can point to as a win, even if it’s not substantive, amid the wall and government shutdown chaos. And in China, there are definitely feelings of concern about the stability of the economy.”


Trump has repeatedly said that China is becoming more desperate to strike a deal because its economy is slowing.


Some analysts here agree. “The Chinese are very eager to de-escalate the trade war because they’re worried about domestic economic situation,” said Trey McArver, co-founder at Trivium China, a Beijing-based consultancy.


Most independent economists expect China’s growth rate to fall to about 6 percent this year, which would be the lowest since 1990.


To try to counteract the slowdown, the People’s Bank of China said Friday that it would reduce the amount of money that financial institutions have to hold by one percentage point. This will inject about $117 billion into the economy.


The government is also pouring money into infrastructure projects. In the last month alone, China has approved new rail projects worth more than $125 billion.


Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang dismissed concerns about the Chinese economy...


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Xi’s Top Trade Official Unexpectedly Attended China-U.S. Talks


    Liu He, China’s top trade negotiator, attends negotiations

    U.S., China seeking to avoid tariff increase set for March


Bloomberg News

January 7, 2019 


Chinese Vice Premier Liu He unexpectedly attended the first day of talks aimed at resolving the trade dispute between the world’s two biggest economies, according to people familiar with the matter and a photo seen by Bloomberg.


Liu is the top economic adviser to Chinese President Xi Jinping, who led previous negotiations in Washington that produced a deal that President Donald Trump then repudiated. China had previously said the talks would be led by a lower-ranking official from the Ministry of Commerce.


It’s unclear how long Liu stayed, or what he discussed. The Ministry of Commerce didn’t immediately respond to a fax seeking comment on Liu’s appearance. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is expected to meet with Liu later this month, a person familiar with the situation said last week.


Liu’s participation in the meeting, held at the ministry’s premises, signals that China is attaching high importance to the talks, even if the main participants this time are mid-level officials. While markets have rallied the past few sessions, a wider downturn over the past month and a deepening economic slowdown are increasing pressure for a deal.


The talks are the first face-to-face interactions between the U.S. and China since both presidents met in Argentina and agreed a temporary truce in their tit-for-tat tariff war. More senior-level discussions are expected later this month, with the South China Morning Post reporting that Trump and Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan may meet at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland...





China has "good faith" to fix trade issues as talks with U.S. resume


* China ready to work in good faith to fix trade frictions

* Economic troubles increase resolve for deal - China expert

* Beijing is not going to “raise the white flag” - paper


By Michael Martina, Reuters

January 7, 2019


BEIJING, Jan 7 (Reuters) - China has the “good faith” to work with the United States to resolve trade frictions, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday, as the world’s two largest economies resumed talks in a bid to end their trade dispute.


U.S. officials are meeting their counterparts in Beijing this week for the first face-to-face talks since U.S. President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping agreed in December to a 90-day truce in a trade war that has roiled global markets.


Trump said on Sunday that trade talks with China were going very well and that weakness in the Chinese economy gave Beijing a reason to work toward a deal.


On Monday, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told NBC the talks were being held with appropriate level staff and would help determine how the administration moves forward.


Ross also said he saw “a very good chance that we will get a reasonable settlement that China can live with, that we can live with and that addresses all of the key issues,” adding that it would be easiest to tackle immediate trade but harder to resolve enforcement issues and structural reforms such as intellectual property rights and market access.”


The two sides agreed to hold “positive and constructive” dialogue to resolve economic and trade disputes in accordance with the consensus reached by the countries’ leaders, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters at a regular news briefing.


“From the beginning we have believed that China-U.S. trade friction is not a positive situation for either country or the world economy. China has the good faith, on the basis of mutual respect and equality, to resolve the bilateral trade frictions,” Lu said...





China Trade Talks Should Provide Direction



via KTIC (NE) - January 7, 2019


Trade talks between the U.S. and China this week should provide an early indication as to what political tensions between the two nations may disrupt the talks.


Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeff Gerrish will meet with Chinese officials in Beijing to begin discussing measures the U.S. seeks to allow the current trade war end between the two. If the talks are favorable to the U.S., Politico reports that could lead to higher level talks with higher ranking officials. The U.S. has set a March deadline for China to agree to trade policy reforms.


Meanwhile, China is opening access to its economy back to the United States through purchases of U.S. agricultural products...