China open to trade negotiations with US: Li

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang with US Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao in Beijing on Thursday.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang with US Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao in Beijing on Thursday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

BEIJING • China is open to negotiating with the United States to resolve trade tensions, Premier Li Keqiang was quoted as saying by state media, noting that the countries should manage their conflicts through dialogue.

Mr Li made the remarks at a meeting with US Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, state broadcaster China Central Television said late on Thursday.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is due to lead a delegation to China for talks intended to ease trade tensions.

President Donald Trump has threatened a new round of tariffs on US$100 billion (S$132 billion) worth of Chinese products that could target mobile phones, computers and other consumer goods. China has already retaliated against an initial round of US tariffs on US$50 billion in Chinese exports.

"There is no winner in trade conflict, which will not only affect the recovery of the world economy but also the global industrial chain," Mr Li said in comments reported by the official Xinhua news agency.

"It is also what the international community expects from our two countries," he said.

Mr Trump's top economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who will join Mr Mnuchin's delegation in Beijing, said on Thursday that he hoped the talks with China would yield progress but that resolving US complaints would be "a long process".

Mr Trump said earlier this week that the US had a "very good chance" of striking a deal with China over trade.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 28, 2018, with the headline 'China open to trade negotiations with US: Li'. Print Edition | Subscribe