China says to have in-depth talks with US on economic, trade issues

Workers seen outside at a Maersk container factory in Dongguan, China, on Jan 7, 2019.
Workers seen outside at a Maersk container factory in Dongguan, China, on Jan 7, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China and the United States will have in-depth discussions on various economic and trade issues during Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He's US visit next week, the Chinese Commerce Ministry said on Thursday (Jan 24).

Both sides are currently in touch on the detailed arrangements surrounding his visit on Jan 30-31, Mr Gao Feng, spokesman at the Commerce Ministry, told reporters.

US President Donald Trump has vowed to increase tariffs to 25 per cent from 10 per cent on US$200 billion (S$272 billion) worth of Chinese imports on March 2 unless China takes steps to protect US intellectual property, end policies that force American companies to turn over technology to a Chinese partner, allow more market access for US businesses and reduce other non-tariff barriers to American products.

China has repeatedly played down complaints about intellectual property abuses, and has rejected accusations that foreign companies face forced technology transfers.

On Wednesday, White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said he believed the United States and China could reach a trade deal by March 1.