China Trade Talks End on Note of Cautious Optimism

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China's position on trade is "transparent and the USA side is well aware of it", said Lu Kang. Over dinner in Argentina last month, Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day tariff truce so that negotiations could take place.

Trade tensions between the world's two largest economies escalated previous year, putting global stock markets on edge. This week's meetings were not high-level, so they were not expected to lead to a deal. She said Wednesday the timing was unclear but the two sides are moving toward "more balanced and reciprocal" trade.

The United States says talks on ending a bruising trade war focused on Chinese promises to buy more American goods but gave no indication of progress on Beijing's technology ambitions and other thorny issues.

This week's talks went ahead despite tension over the arrest of a Chinese tech executive in Canada on US charges related to possible violations of trade sanctions against Iran. But aside from some soybean purchases, there has been little sign of big-ticket acquisitions. Asked about his presence on Tuesday, Lu from the foreign ministry said it wasn't surprising for Liu to be there.

The U.S. stock market was supported by advances by technology and other trade-sensitive sectors. Such an agreement, indeed, was previously reached in May 2018, when U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that the trade war had been put "on hold" thanks to China's pledge to "significantly increase purchases of United States goods and services".

Some 40 days into the 90-day truce, there were few concrete details on progress made so far.

Another photo shows a wider view of dozens of officials from each country seated at three long tables facing each other and around the room's borders, significantly more people than those attending previous rounds of U.S. -Chinese relations for years.

While the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that crude inventories shrank by 1.68 million barrels last week, the steepest drop since November, there were substantial increases in supplies of refined products such as gasoline.

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Washington imposed import tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods a year ago and threatened further pressure Beijing to change its practices on issues ranging from industrial subsidies to intellectual property.

"We believe it is just a question of time that the actual or perceived supply/demand balance that includes stock level, production data as well as demand figure, will take over", said Tamas Varga of PVM Oil Associates.

A statement on the talks from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) did not mention any new breakthroughs, but instead listed longstanding topics of discussion.

The paper said in an editorial that the dispute harms both countries and disrupts the worldwide trade order and supply chains. It said USA negotiators would await "guidance on the next steps" after reporting back to Washington.

It also said the negotiations dealt with the need for "ongoing verification and effective enforcement". But if a deal doesn't happen, remember, "I am a Tariff Man", Trump said.

The Chinese government has strong incentives to reach a deal.

China has also cut tariffs on USA cars, dialled back on an industrial development plan known as "Made in China 2025", and told its state refiners to buy more US oil.

Stocks rallied globally on the positive tone of the talks and optimism that Washington and Beijing can avert an all-out trade war. Apple Inc rattled global markets last week when it cut its sales outlook, blaming weak demand in China, while Chinese exporters reported a thinning pipeline of orders from the United States. "China trade talks earlier in the week appeared to have run its course". Xi promised to fix the trade imbalance issue with the United States by starting to purchase U.S. agricultural products.

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