China welcomes preliminary deal in trade war it blames on US

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China has also rejected the use of unilateral pressure as it violates the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), said Wang.

Voicing China's consistent opposition to protectionism, Wang said that China maintains that an open economy be built up and all countries should provide a fair and non-discriminative environment for normal trade and investment, he said.

His comments came after US President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that a "very large phase one deal with China" had been clinched and that under the accord, Beijing will be required to make "many structural changes and massive purchases of agricultural product, energy, and manufactured goods, plus much more" from the US.

China welcomes businesses from all countries to compete fairly in the Chinese market and more competitive products from Europe, he said.

A date for senior USA and Chinese officials to formally sign the agreement is still being determined, Lighthizer said.

The process of putting tariffs in place kicked off in March a year ago, with Trump stating at the time that an investigation by Lighthizer had concluded China was using foreign ownership restrictions to require technology transfers from USA companies to Chinese organisations, as well as conducting espionage to acquire intellectual property and confidential business information.

But the gains in the deal do not compensate for the damage to US farmers and businesses, she told reporters. During an interview on Sunday, Lighthizer said the new deal will almost double USA exports to China within two years.

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China to increase imports from U.S. "And the fact that we have all of them together is great for agriculture", he said.

Bai Ming, an economic expert described as being close to the commerce ministry, told the state-owned Global Times newspaper that the US tariff cuts demonstrate a positive attitude. China also said it would buy more grain from US farmers.

"We were kind of on a brink, and we saw the negotiators reach a deal that pulled us back, and I think that is important", she said of the news Trump canceled the 15 percent tariffs on electronics that were due to hit Sunday.

The deal comes off the back of over two and a half years' worth of escalating tensions between the United States and China, which saw the rollout of various tariffs.

The deal suspended a threatened round of US tariffs on a $160 billion list of Chinese imports that was scheduled to take effect on Sunday. Those tariffs were to take effect on December 15. It pointed to stock market gains in recent days as word of a possible deal emerged.

Lighthizer said Chinese officials would decide the success of the deal. "If the hard-liners are making the decisions we're going to get one outcome, if the reformers are making the decisions - which is what we hope - then we're going to get another outcome".

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