SHANGHAI • China hopes the United States can show sincerity and promote proposals both countries can accept when their two leaders meet today at the G-20 summit, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said yesterday ahead of the key trade talks.
Just as Chinese President Xi Jinping left for Argentina for the Group of 20 summit on Thursday, US President Donald Trump sent mixed signals about the chances of a trade deal with China, saying an agreement was close, but he was not sure he wanted one.
Asked how China viewed the prospects, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China has consistently stressed that the essence of China-US trade is mutual benefit and win-win.
"At present, both countries' economic teams are maintaining close contact to put into effect the spirit of the consensus reached by the two leaders in their telephone call on Nov 1," Mr Geng told a daily news briefing.
"We hope the US can show sincerity and meet China half way to promote a proposal that both countries can accept," he said.
"At the same time, we also hope that with the hard work of both sides, the Argentina meeting that will shortly take place between the leaders of China and the United States can achieve positive results, to set the direction for the next stage in the development of China-US ties," he added.
The state-run China Daily newspaper said in an editorial yesterday that an agreement can be reached in Argentina as both China and the US want a deal, but Washington must be "fair-minded" if it wants to defuse spiralling tensions.
Their relationship has been further strained by tension over the key shipping lanes of the South China Sea.
China said yesterday it had lodged "stern representations" with Washington after the US Navy sailed a ship through the contested South China Sea, passing near islands claimed by China.
The US guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville sailed near the Paracel Islands on Monday to challenge China's "excessive maritime claims", the US Pacific Fleet said in a statement.
The Chinese military said it had sent ships and planes to watch the US ship and to warn it to leave.