US wants China trade deal in 'same time frame' despite Apec summit cancellation

Chinese and US flags flutter before trade talks in Shanghai, in July 2019.
Chinese and US flags flutter before trade talks in Shanghai, in July 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - President Donald Trump still hopes to sign a trade deal with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in coming weeks, despite Chile's cancellation of the Apec summit where they had been scheduled to meet, the White House said on Wednesday (Oct 30).

"We look forward to finalizing Phase One of the historic trade deal with China within the same time frame, and when we have an announcement, we'll let you know," spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement.

President Sebastian Pinera announced earlier that Chile could no longer hold the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit and later Cop 25 climate change conference in Santiago, due to violent unrest in the city.

Gidley said as of now there was no replacement location.

"It's our understanding the organization does not currently have a secondary site prepared. We're awaiting potential information regarding another location," he said.

Trump and Xi had been targeting an encounter on the sidelines of the Apec event to sign an initial agreement aimed at resolving an 18-month trade war between the world's two biggest economies.