BEIJING – The first round of face-to-face negotiations between representatives of China and the United States aimed at resolving the countries’ bilateral trade war ended on Wednesday in the Chinese capital.
“US-China trade talks just concluded. If the results of the talks are positive, it would be beneficial for both China and the US and it would be good news for the global economy,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said at a press conference.
Although at first the meeting was scheduled to take place on Jan. 7-8, negotiations continued until late in the evening and both sides decided to prolong them one more day.
“I can only say that extending the consultations indicates that both sides were very serious about it,” Lu said.
The spokesperson did not provide any details on the outcome of the meeting, or on whether additional talks had been planned.
Analysts cited by the official Global Times Wednesday pointed out the conversation reflected the will of the negotiating teams to reach an agreement.
This is the first face-to-face meeting between representatives from both countries since Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump agreed on Dec. 1 to a 90-day truce.
The US delegation, headed by the Deputy US Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish, also had members from the departments of Energy, Agriculture, and Treasury.
The Chinese delegation was led by Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen, but Vice Premier Liu He, a key economic adviser to Xi, participated in one of the meetings held Monday, Lu said.
Since the Beijing-Washington truce of Dec. 1, China has undertaken several goodwill measures such as lowering tariffs on imported vehicles from the US, resuming the purchase of soya and submitting a bill to ban the forced transfer of technology.
Trump temporarily suspended the 10-25 percent increase in tariffs on Chinese products valued at $200 billion, but threatened to discontinue the plan if a trade agreement is not closed before the expiry of the 90-day term.