Published: Sat, November 03, 2018
Money | By Hannah Jacobs

China Premier Li Keqiang is optimistic on US-China relations

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who spoke by telephone on Thursday, expressed optimism about resolving their trade dispute ahead of a high-stakes meeting at the end of November in Argentina.

In their talks on Thursday night, Xi told Trump that the two sides had to come up with a proposal to settle the trade war, while Trump said the two men had a "long and very good conversation" on several issues, including trade and North Korea.

President Trump has imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods so far this year.

China has been hurt over the past months and is having a "hard time" due to strong steps taken by the U.S. against it over trade, USA president Donald Trump has claimed. "If President Trump makes an agreement with President Xi, there is nobody above them to overturn it", he said.

Trump administration officials have said that trade talks with China can not resume until it comes up with specific actions it is willing take to meet US demands for sweeping changes to policies on technology transfers, industrial subsidies and market access.

The telephone conversation on Thursday was Mr Trump and Mr Xi's first publicly disclosed call in six months. The Chinese president also said he would like to meet Trump at the G20.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said that Trump and Xi might be able to break the logjam on issues during the summit.

Xi on Thursday said he looks forward to meeting with Trump in Argentina and hopes the two sides build stable relations, according to China's state media. Washington, Europe and other trading partners say those violate China's market-opening obligations and some American officials worry they might erode U.S. industrial leadership.

It's been a wild ride this week for China's yuan, whipsawed as concern about a slowdown in the world's second-biggest economy gave way to optimism that trade tension with the USA may ease.

News signaling improvements in US-China ties, in turn buoying the markets, would provide the president a chance to vie for support in midterm elections Tuesday that will decide whether the Republicans keep control of Congress.

On Thursday, the U.S. accused a Chinese state-owned company of conspiring to steal trade secrets of USA chip-maker Micron Technology Inc as part of a Justice Department crackdown against China in cases of suspected economic espionage. "We're doing better than we've ever done". In response, Beijing said it would impose taxes on 5,207 U.S. imports worth about $60 billion.

"Frankly, the principal culprit is China", he said.

Both the USA and China have sought to portray the personal relations between the two leaders as a source of stability in the relationship, and they have refrained from direct criticism of each other.

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