BEIJING (REUTERS) - China can "absolutely" reach an agreement with the United States on opening up its financial sector, China's top banking regulator said on Tuesday (March 5), even as the country's commerce minister admitted talks with Washington had been difficult.
Speaking on the sidelines of China's annual meeting of parliament, Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, said while he could not give details on the talks, reaching an agreement in the financial area should not pose problems.
"On the opening of the financial sector, China and the United States absolutely can reach agreement. Though at present there may be a few small disagreements, the problems are not that great," Mr Guo said.
The two countries have been working to resolve a bitter trade dispute that has rattled financial markets and disrupted world supply chains in a blow to global growth.
The US and China appear close to a deal that would roll back US tariffs on at least US$200 billion (S$271 billion) worth of Chinese goods, as Beijing makes pledges on structural economic changes and eliminates retaliatory tariffs on US goods, a source briefed on negotiations said on Sunday.
Washington has accused China of limiting market access for US firms, forcing companies to transfer technology and providing little protection for intellectual property rights. The US has also expressed concerns about the value of China's yuan.
The US has also expressed concerns about the value of China's yuan.
Mr Guo reiterated that China did not engage in competitive devaluation of the yuan currency.
Speaking separately on parliament's sidelines, Commerce Minister Zhong Shan said on Tuesday that trade talks with the US have been difficult but that working teams from both countries are continuing with their negotiations.
The trade talks have achieved a breakthrough in some areas, Mr Zhong said, adding that both China and the US and the global economy stand to benefit if both countries can reach a trade deal.
China and the US should seek common ground while setting aside their differences if they want to reach a consensus, Mr Zhong added.