China says ready for US talks, sees no winners in trade war , Latest World News - The New Paper

China says ready for US talks, sees no winners in trade war

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VP says US, China will lose from confrontation, gain from cooperation

SINGAPORE China is ready to hold discussions and work with the US to resolve trade disputes because the world's two largest economies stand to lose from confrontation, Vice President Wang Qishan said yesterday.

Beijing and Washington have imposed tit-for-tat duties on each other's goods over recent months, with neither side backing down from a increasingly bitter trade dispute that has jolted financial markets and cast a pall over the global economy.

The focus is now on US President Donald Trump's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the end of the month.

Mr Trump has threatened to impose further tariffs on US$267 billion (S$366b) of Chinese imports into the US if the two countries cannot reach a deal on trade.

"Both China and the US would love to see greater trade and economic cooperation," Mr Wang told the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore.

"The Chinese side is ready to have discussions with the US on issues of mutual concern and work for a solution on trade acceptable to both sides," he said.

"It is our firm belief that China and the US will both gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation."

Mr Wang echoed comments by President Xi on Monday that Beijing will embrace greater openness, amid mounting frictions with the US.

Mr Trump has railed against China for what he sees as intellectual property theft, entry barriers to US business and a gaping trade deficit.

"Negativity and anger are not the way to address the problems that have emerged in economic globalisation, nor will barriers or disputes help solve one's own problems," Mr Wang said.

"Instead they would only exacerbate global market turbulence."

Beijing supports the settlement of international disputes via rules and consensus and stands against unilateralism and protectionism, he added.

"Trade and economic cooperation remain the anchor and propeller of a steady and healthy China-US relationship which is in essence mutually beneficial. China will stay calm and sober-minded, embrace greater openness and work for mutual benefit."

The resumption of high-level dialogue, marked by a phone call last week between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, comes ahead of an expected meeting between the two at the G20 summit in Argentina starting in late November.

It follows months of recriminations spanning trade, US accusations of Chinese political interference, the disputed South China Sea and self-ruled Taiwan.

China and the US have both described last week's telephone call between Mr Xi and Mr Trump as positive.

In a sign of the unfreezing, the US State Department said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Chinese politburo member Yang Jiechi and Defence Minister Wei Fenghe will take part in diplomatic and security talks later this week in Washington.