US President Trump meets China Vice-Premier Liu He on trade issues: Chinese state media

US President Donald Trump has met Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He, who is leading a trade delegation in Washington. PHOTO: TWITTER/DONALD J. TRUMP

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He, who is leading a trade delegation in Washington, has met US President Donald Trump, state broadcaster China Central Television said on Friday (May 18).

A second round of talks between senior Trump administration officials and their Chinese counterparts started at the US Treasury on Thursday morning, focused on cutting China's US trade surplus and improving intellectual property protections.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders had earlier said Mr Trump would meet Mr Liu later on Thursday.

Mr Liu said the two countries should work together with mutual respect to promote stable and healthy ties, the People's Daily said in a post on an official microblog account.

"China is willing to strive together with the United States to appropriately handle and resolve trade issues felt by both sides on a basis of mutual benefit," the official newspaper cited Liu as saying.

He said the two sides should push to ensure trade cooperation continued to be a "ballast stone and propeller" of US-China relations.

The paper said Mr Trump had called for strengthening of trade and investment ties in sectors such as energy, manufacturing and agriculture, as well as pushing ahead work on intellectual property protection.

According to US officials, China has offered Mr Trump a package of proposed purchases of American goods and other measures aimed at reducing the US trade deficit with China by some US$200 billion (S$269 billion) a year.

One of the sources said US aircraft maker Boeing Co would be a major beneficiary of the Chinese offer if Mr Trump were to accept it. Boeing is the largest US exporter and already sells about a quarter of its commercial aircraft to Chinese customers.

Another person familiar with the talks said the package may include some elimination of Chinese tariffs already in place on about US$4 billion worth of US farm products including fruit, nuts, pork, wine and sorghum.

Mr Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on goods worth up to US$150 billion (S$200 billion) to combat what he says is Beijing's misappropriation of US technology through joint venture requirements and other policies.

Beijing has threatened equal retaliation, including tariffs on some of its largest US imports, including aircraft, soybeans and autos.

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