Asian markets settle after rallying on US-China trade hopes

Muriel Colon
January 12, 2019

China's commerce ministry said the discussions "established a foundation for the resolution of each others' concerns".

A statement released by China's Commerce Ministry on Thursday morning said both sides carried out "wide, deep and thorough exchanges" on trade and structural issues of mutual concern.

This week's talks went ahead despite tension over the arrest of a Chinese tech executive in Canada on U.S. charges related to possible violations of trade sanctions against Iran.

The two governments have announced no details, but Asian stock markets rose on news the negotiations that originally were planned for two days were extended.

World markets rose Wednesday on increasing optimism that the two sides would be able to hammer out a deal ahead of a March deadline and avert further import tariff hikes - though Asian stocks were mostly down on Thursday.

U.S. Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney is chased by journalists as he walks into a hotel after a second day of meetings with Chinese officials in Beijing, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019.

"The talks also focused on China's pledge to purchase a substantial amount of agricultural, energy and manufactured goods, and other products and services from the United States". "The US is very clear about China's stance".

As the Trump administration continues trade negotiations with China, the USA delegation is taking additional steps to make sure the Communist country follows through on its pledges.

As evidence mounts by the day that the slowdown in China's economy is worsening, policy makers in Beijing are focusing on getting rid of the duties that Trump has leveled on Chinese goods since past year, according to a former high-level official briefed on the government's thinking.

The Chinese government is reported to be releasing a statement on the talks tomorrow.

"We can confidently say that enough progress was made that the discussions will continue at a higher level", said Craig Allen, president of the U.S.

Chinese pledges to increase US imports would naturally center on a boost in agricultural products sent to China.

Liu, the chief economic adviser to Chinese President Xi Jinping, made brief remarks at the negotiations, a person familiar with the meeting said.

It's unclear from the United States statement how much headway negotiators made regarding United States concerns over forced technology transfers and cybertheft of trade secrets for commercial purposes.

President Trump took to Twitter Tuesday to give his take on current negotiations, declaring talks with China are going very well. "However, we do not see the USA fully removing the specter of tariff hikes any time soon".

It softened its stand by offering a mix of concessions by resuming purchases of USA soybeans, suspended punitive tariffs on imports of U.S. cars and toned down its "Made in China 2025" plan, which aimed at breaking the country's reliance on foreign technology and pull its hi-tech industries up to western levels.

Global Times editor Hu Xijin said that of the issues raised, the trade imbalance problem was "solved most smoothly". The bank believes that the positives from the fiscal stimulus messages of a year ago will subside, which, coupled with the trade war, will add pressure to the economy.

"I believe China is buying time and waiting to see how things pan out", Ding said.

She added that the Trump administration's complaint that China is stealing USA intellectual property is "top of mind" in the negotiations with Beijing.

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