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China, US officials hold meeting trade issues

BEIJING

China and the U.S. held a virtual meeting on Saturday regarding the two countries’ fraught trade relationship, after a lengthy break in negotiations.

China’s top trade negotiator Liu He referred to as U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to talk about the “Phase 1” trade deal, negotiated under the Trump administration, alongside with other essential economic concerns, according to a statement from China’s Commerce Ministry.

Both sides “conducted pragmatic, candid and optimistic exchanges” according to the statement.

Tai had said this week that she plans frank conversations with officials in Beijing about an interim trade deal aimed at resolving a tariff war.

Liu, a vice premier and member of the ruling Communist Party’s Politburo, additionally pushed for the cancelation of extra tariffs and sanctions levied by the U.S. on Chinese goods.

The “Phase 1” trade deal put on pause a trade war enacted by former President Donald Trump, who raised tariffs on Chinese imports over complaints about Beijing’s industrial policy and trade surplus. China retaliated by suspending purchases of U.S. soybeans and raising tariffs on other goods.

Under President Joe Biden, the administration has maintained the higher tariffs and other policies that have elicited complaints from Beijing, however has sought a more cordial tone in bilateral discussions.

Liu also explained the country’s position on its current economic development model and industrial policies. China’s economy has bounced back quite quickly following the global pandemic, however has run into headwinds from massive amounts of corporate and local government debt, as well as restrictions on high-tech exports, particularly these enacted by the U.S.

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