US President Donald Trump. File photo
President Donald Trump said on Monday that US and Chinese trade negotiators would "very shortly" resume talks in what he described as a breakthrough in the two economic superpowers' trade war.
"China called last night..., said let's get back to the table. So we'll be getting back to the table," Trump told reporters at the G7 summit in Biarritz.
Trump said that Chinese officials had made two "very, very good calls" and that "they want to make a deal".
The president's tone was in marked contrast to the steady hardening of positions in the number one and two economies.
Just last Friday, Trump sharply raised tariffs on all Chinese imports after Beijing hiked its own levies.
The United States is trying to force China into deep reforms of its trading model to end decades of practices, including rampant intellectual property theft, that US companies say prevents a level playing field.
However, US allies have pressured Trump at the G7 summit in France, saying that the trade war puts the world economy at risk.
Trump said that his pressure had paid off, bringing the Chinese back to the table after talks had appeared to have gone off the rails.
"They hurt very badly, but they understand this is the right thing to do," Trump said.
"One of the reasons he's a great leader, President Xi..., is they understand how life works."
"It's going to be great for China, it's going to be great for the US, it's going to be great for the world," he said.
"We're going to start very shortly to negotiate..., but I think we're going to make a deal."Agence France-Presse
The trade spat has turned into a war of words since President Donald Trump blacklisted Huawei last week over concerns the telecom giant's equipment could be used by Beijing for espionage.
Imports of US goods fell 22.5% from a year earlier to $10.3 billion following Chinese tariff hikes and orders to companies to cancel orders, customs data showed Sunday. Exports to the United States, China's biggest market, sank 16% to $44.4 billion.
Ties between the two powers are once again taking centre stage at the weekend Singapore conference known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, which gathers defence ministers and top military officials from around the world.
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