Xi Jinping (L) and Donald Trump attend a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. File photo/ AFP
Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for the “early conclusion of negotiations” on the text of a trade deal with the United States, state media reported on Friday.
The comments, carried by the Xinhua news agency, came as speculation mounted that the two sides were close to finalising an agreement to resolve their nine month-trade war.
The remarks were part of a message conveyed by Chinese vice premier Liu He at a meeting with US President Donald Trump.
“Under the current situation, the healthy and stable development of China-US relations is related to the interests of both Chinese and American people,” said Liu, passing on remarks from Xi.
Washington and Beijing since last year have imposed tariffs on more than $360 billion in two-way trade, biting into their manufacturing sectors as the world economy slows.
Vice Premier and Beijing’s trade envoy Liu flew to Washington this week to continue hammering out trade negotiations.
The two sides “reached a new consensus on important issues” in trade agreement documents, said Xinhua’s report, citing Liu.
The slashing of the global economic growth forecasts for 2019 by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the warning that growth could slow further due to trade tensions and a potentially disorderly British exit from the European Union (EU) should serve as a wakeup call for world leaders to take corrective measures through coordinated actions.
Factory activity shrank in most Asian countries in June as the simmering US-China trade conflict put further strains on the region’s manufacturing sector, keeping policymakers under pressure to deploy stronger steps to avert a global recession.
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