President Donald Trump said Thursday said trade discussions with China were "moving along nicely" and that he planned to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the upcoming G-20 summit after a "very good" talk with his counterpart.
The US president spoke to Xi on Thursday and later tweeted that trade talks with China were "moving along nicely" ahead of face-to-face talks between the pair at the G20 summit in Argentina later this month. "And let's see what happens", Trump said at a White House event.
Trump's posture toward China has been closely watched by investors, who are looking for the possibility of tensions cooling in their market-shaking trade war.
Trump said he and Xi plan to meet during a gathering of the Group of 20 major economies this month in Argentina.
President Trump has made very clear to China that they must change their "unfair" trade practices including theft of US intellectual property.
China and the United States can overcome their differences and get relations back on track if they work together in a spirit of mutual respect, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told a group of visiting US politicians on Thursday.
Xi was quoted by CCTV as saying after the call with Trump that the two leaders had hoped to expand trade cooperation.
A Bloomberg report said the United States president had asked officials to begin drafting a potential trade agreement with China, citing unnamed sources. After their last publicly reported phone call in May, Trump rekindled trade talks by easing sanctions on Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp., only for negotiations to break down days later.
The U.S. this year has already imposed tariffs on $250 billion in trade with China.
'We do hope that China and the United States will meet each other halfway and work together in the spirit of mutual respect and equality, ' Li told Trump's fellow Republicans.
"We have the capability and the wisdom to overcome barriers and push China-U.S. relations back to a normal track - this isn't just beneficial for both countries, but also the world".
Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander told Li that the delegation was there 'to show our respect to a great country and a great people, ' and that the two countries 'are competitors but not adversaries'.
The two countries already have imposed tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of each other's goods and Trump has threatened to slap tariffs on the remainder of China's $500 billion-plus exports to the United States if the disputes can not be resolved. At a campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri, he later said "they want to make a deal". Ten percent tariffs on $200 billion in imports that took effect in September are due to increase to 25 percent on January 1. "We have a new deal", he said adding that the U.S. is now negotiating with the European Union, which "has absolutely hurt" the United States.
A key point of contention for the US has been its allegations that China has engaged in widespread intellectual property theft.