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US, China to rekindle trade talks

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Both sides wll gain by cooperating, China's Xi tells Trump

BEIJING: China said yesterday that positive outcomes were possible in trade negotiations with the United States, after the two presidents agreed to revive their troubled talks at a G-20 meeting this month.

US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he would meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan.

China, which previously declined to say if the two leaders would get together, confirmed the meeting.

The two countries are in the middle of a costly trade dispute that has put pressure on financial markets and damaged the global economy.

Talks to reach a broad deal broke down last month after US officials accused China of backing away from agreed commitments.

Interaction since then has been limited, and Mr Trump has threatened to put more tariffs on Chinese products in an escalation that businesses in both countries want to avoid.

News that the negotiations were back on the agenda cheered China's stock markets with the blue-chip CSI300 index ending 1.3 per cent higher while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 1 per cent.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said it was important to find a solution that was acceptable to both sides.

"I am not getting ahead of myself, but communication over four decades shows it is possible to achieve positive outcomes," he said.

Mr Lu said he could not give an exact agenda for the meeting.

"The two leaders will talk about whatever they want," he said.

"A deal is not only in the interests of the two peoples but meets the aspirations of the whole world."

In comments read out by Chinese media, Mr Xi, too, was relatively upbeat.

"In recent times, China-US relations have encountered some difficulties, which is not in the interest of either side. China and the US will both gain by cooperating and lose by fighting," Mr Xi told Mr Trump, according to a readout by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.

The White House readout of the call said the leaders "discussed the importance of levelling the playing field for US farmers, workers and businesses through a fair and reciprocal economic relationship".

"I think we have a chance. China wants a deal. They don't like the tariffs," Mr Trump told reporters at the White House.

"I have a very good relationship with President Xi. We'll see what happens."

In another possible sign of a thaw, China's state television's movie channel, which has in recent weeks broadcast old patriotic films about China's heroics against the US in the 1950 to 1953 Korean War, yesterday showed a movie that put the US in a far more positive light.

The channel showed 1999's Lover's Grief Over The Yellow River, about a US pilot in World War II who was rescued by Communist guerilla forces in China and falls in love with one of the young women fighters.

"It is better to fall in love than to fight," the Beijing office of the Communist Youth League wrote approvingly of the movie on its Weibo account. - REUTERS, AFP