Chinese and US negotiating teams will maintain close communication and intensify trade consultations at the work level in August to prepare for the meeting of chief trade negotiators from both sides in September, said the Ministry of Commerce Thursday.
Gao Feng, a spokesperson for the ministry, made the remarks at a news conference. The two sides held the 12th round of China-US high-level economic and trade consultations in Shanghai from Tuesday to Wednesday and have agreed to hold the next round of consultations in the US in September.
In the 12th round of consultations, the two sides discussed the reasons for the previous deadlock, clarified stances on major economic and trade issues, and defined the principles, methods and schedules for future consultations, Gao said. Responding to some US comments imposing pressure on China, Gao said the bilateral consultations must be conducted on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
He expressed the hope that the US side will make positive efforts, show sincerity and goodwill, and create a good atmosphere for the consultations. The two sides have far more common interests than disputes in the economic and trade field, Gao stressed, adding that the pursuit for mutual benefit is the essence of bilateral economic and trade cooperation.
As to when an agreement could be reached, Gao said this would depend on the progress of the consultations. The US side should show sufficient sincerity, properly resolve China’s core concerns, and make joint efforts with China to seek solutions on the basis of equality and mutual respect, he said.
Meanwhile US secretary of state met with his Chinese counterpart in Thailand on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Ministerial meeting on Thursday. While in Bangkok, I had an in-depth exchange of views with Chinese State Councilor Wang Yi on US-China relations and North Korea, among other important topics of mutual concern, Mike Pompeo said in a Twitter post.
When it advances US interests, we are ready to cooperate with China, Pompeo added. For decades, American diplomacy with ASEAN has been consistently guided by our desire for partnership, our respect for the sovereignty of each of our nations and our shared commitment to the fundamental rules of laws, human rights, and sustainable economic growth, Ruptly news agency quoted Pompeo as saying in the meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers.
The US is one of the eight additional countries including Russia and China attending the regional forum without having membership. Referring to regional rivalry between China and Washington, Pompeo said, look, we don’t ever ask any Indo-Pacific nations to choose between countries. The US’s engagement in this region has not been and will not be a zero sum exercise, he added.
The US and China have slapped tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth on each other’s goods, and Trump threatened to impose duties on $300 billion worth of additional Chinese imports in May after trade negotiations faltered that month without a long-sought deal. Officials from the two giant competitors held two-day meeting in Shanghai on Tuesday for trade and tariff negotiations which didn’t live up to expectations of global markets -the first face-to-face meeting since May. Delegations are set to meet in September for a new round of talks.