Chinese official: Progress in trade talks well-received

Mr Zhang Yesui, a spokesman for China's Parliament, said the US-China talks had achieved substantive progress on many issues. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

BEIJING • The "substantive pro-gress" China and the United States have made in their trade talks has been well-received in both countries and around the world, a senior Chinese official said yesterday, maintaining Beijing's previous upbeat assessment of discussions.

"History shows cooperation is the best choice for the world's two largest economies," Mr Zhang Yesui, a former Chinese ambassador to Washington and now a spokesman for China's National People's Congress, told a news briefing.

China and the United States have imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of each other's goods, and the talks are aimed at de-escalating a conflict that has roiled financial markets, disrupted manufacturing supply chains and shrunk US farm exports.

"So far, they have achieved substantive progress on many issues of mutual interest," Mr Zhang said ahead of Parliament's opening today.

"Economic and trade ties between China and the United States are mutually beneficial... and we hope that both sides can continue to step up consultations, to reach a mutually beneficial, win-win agreement."

The remarks echoed comments made late last month by the Chinese government's top diplomat.

Mr Zhang noted that aside from the trade dispute, the two countries also regularly clash over issues such as human rights, the disputed South China Sea and self-ruled Taiwan, which China claims as its own.

While China will defend its sovereignty, security and development interests, it is also dedi-cated to having a relationship with the US based on mutual respect and non-confrontation, he said.

Mr Zhang added: "It is totally normal to have differences and disputes, but this does not inevitably lead to antagonism or confrontation."

REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 05, 2019, with the headline 'Chinese official: Progress in trade talks well-received'. Print Edition | Subscribe