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Global Times

Beijing takes cautious tone ahead of next round of high-level talks in Washington

Global Times

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/9/26 21:03:41

Chinese officials have been adopting a cautious tone toward upcoming trade negotiations with US officials, as Washington has ratcheted up its criticism of China's trade policies and appeared to be walking back from its earlier conciliatory stance toward the talks.

At a press briefing on Thursday, Gao Feng, a spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, declined to confirm a date for the planned high-level negotiations in Washington in October.

Gao only said that the two sides are maintaining "close" communication in preparation for the upcoming talks.

But in an apparent sign of displeasure toward criticism from Washington, Gao twice reiterated China's long-stated stances in the negotiations with the US, when asked to comment on remarks made at the UN by US President Donald Trump.

"The Chinese side has noticed relevant comments from the US side," Gao said. "Our stance toward the consultations has been persistent and clear-cut. We hope the US side meets China halfway and finds mutually beneficial solutions based on equal and mutual respect through dialogue."

Even as the two sides made plans for a new round of talks and exchanged goodwill gestures, Trump griped China's trade policy and other issues in a speech at the UN General Assembly in New York.

Trump said he would not accept a "bad deal" or "partial deal" with China and claimed that China has not lived it up to its promises to the WTO, claims that have long been pushed back by officials in Beijing.

Still the two sides appear to be on track for negotiations in Washington, exchanging goodwill gestures in recent days. Gao said on Thursday that China has purchased a "considerable" amount of US soybeans and pork and welcomed the US decision to exempt more than 400 types of Chinese goods from tariffs.

However, China has also been expanding its source of soybean imports. On Thursday, the General Administration of Customs announced that it has granted clearance for soybean imports from the West African country Benin, effective immediately.

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