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Iran Press TV

China deal is coming along very well: Trump

Iran Press TV

Friday, 22 November 2019 7:28 PM

US President Donald Trump has said that the trade deal with China was "coming along very well" amid jitters in financial markets reflecting fears that the negotiations were headed to an impasse.

"The China deal is coming along very well. The question is whether or not I want to make it," Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday.

Earlier in the day, Trump had said that he was troubled by his Chinese counterpart's insistence on "equality" in the trade deal. "I didn't like his word 'equality,'" he insisted. Trump claimed that due to large Chinese trade surpluses in its trade with Americans, the US economy had suffered for years. He insisted that it was now time for Beijing to make up for the US companies' losses in these years by agreeing to a fresh trade deal that would give the Americans side more.

"I told President Xi, 'This can't be like an even deal. We're starting off from the floor and you're already at the ceiling,'" Trump complained during a television interview on Fox New Channel's "Fox & Friends."

Trump also urged Beijing to calm the situation in Hong Kong, saying the ongoing protests there were a complicating factor in the trade talks.

He claimed that "thousands of people would have been killed in Hong Kong" if not for him. "If it weren't for me, Hong Kong would have been obliterated in 14 minutes," Trump said.

"He's got a million soldiers standing outside of Hong Kong that aren't going in only because I ask him please don't do it, you'll be making a big mistake, it's going to have a tremendous negative impact on the trade deal and he wants to make a trade deal," Trump added, referring to Xi.

Protest in Hong Kong have been going on for months. Protesters demand greater autonomy from mainland China.

Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday that China was in favor of doing trade with the US. He said Beijing would sign a partial trade deal with the Americans if the deal was based on "respect" and "equality."

"We want to work for a 'phase one' agreement on the basis of mutual respect and equality," Xi said, adding that Beijing will enact the required economic reforms at its own pace and was in no hurry in this regard.

However, he warned his the Americans that if the US-China trade deal did not work out as Beijing wanted, the Chinese were not afraid to retaliate the US-imposed punitive tariffs.

"When necessary we will fight back, but we have been working actively to try not to have a trade war. We did not initiate this trade war and this is not something we want." Xi told representatives of the New Economy Forum organized by Bloomberg LP, according to a pool report.

Trump and Xi's comments on Friday came amid ongoing uncertainty in global financial markets over how the 16-month-old trade war between the world's economic heavyweights plays out, and how much it may undermine the economy.

Economists warn that the ongoing trade war between the world's two largest economies increases the risks of disrupting supply chains, curtailing investment and curbing business confidence in global markets.

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