Both China and United States (U.S.) have admitted to making important progress during the 2-day trade talks held at the Oval Office, the office space of the President of the United States located in the West Wing of the White House in Washington DC.
What happened during the Trade Talks?
The high-level talks focussed on trade imbalance, intellectual property rights protection and the implementation mechanism of any eventual deal reached. The trade talks were held in line with the March 1, 2019 deadline, failing which, the tariffs on Chinese imports worth U.S. $ 200 billion will increase to 25% from 10%.
This is the 2nd round of discussions between both sides since their officials first met in Beijing in January 2019.
Both the countries have also spelled a timeline and road map for the next step of talks. China also mentioned that they have resumed purchasing extra 5 million tonnes of soybeans per day from U.S.
Vice-Premier of China & Director of the General Office, Central Financial and Economic Affairs Commission – Mr. Liu He, led the Chinese delegation to Washington with U.S. Trade Representative – Mr. Robert Lighthizer. China has invited the U.S. delegation to Beijing for the next round of discussions around Mid-February, 2019.
The letter from Xi Jinping
Liu He used the occasion to read out a letter from the President of People’s Republic of China – Xi Jinping, which said, “As I often say, I feel we have known each other for a long time, ever since we first met. I cherish the good working relations and personal friendship with you. I enjoy our meetings and phone calls, in which we could talk about anything.”
In response, Trump called the letter “beautiful”.
The Big Upcoming Meeting
The President of U.S. – Donald Trump has said that he would soon meet his Chinese counterpart, the President of People’s Republic of China – Xi Jinping. They will both work collectively towards securing a comprehensive deal, benefiting both the economies.
Donald Trump and Xi Jinping are touted to meet at Hainan island, off the Southern Coast of China and close to Vietnam and Thailand, where Trump is also supposed to meet the North Korean Leader – Kim Jong UN. However, the final decision will be taken at a later stage.
What can affect the deal
The only thing that can affect the trade talks are the charges framed by the U.S. Justice Department against the Chinese tech giant, Huawei and its Chief Financial Officer – Meng Wanzhou. The U.S. has accused Huawei and Meng of bank fraud, obstruction of justice and theft of technology.
Meng Wanzhou, daughter of Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Vancouver by Canadian Authorities, on request of the U.S., on December 1, 2018. Meng was later released on bail. In the meantime, U.S. has placed a requisition to Canada for extradition of Meng Wanzhou. The Canadian Authorities now have 30 days to authorize extradition.