China says USA ties stand at 'new starting point'

China says USA ties stand at 'new starting point'

Farmers - and the lawmakers who represented them - anxious they would suffer the most under the trade war, which saw China tax products like soybeans and oranges. "Big progress being made!", Trump said on Twitter.

Xinhua quoted Xi as saying China and the United States are working to implement the terms of that truce.

Just days after the trade truce was brokered, Trump warned in a December 4 tweet that both national leaders "want this deal to happen", but that if a deal doesn't happen, "I am a tariff man".

As a partial shutdown of the USA government entered its eighth day, with no quick end in sight, the Republican president was in Washington, sending out tweets attacking Democrats and talking up possibly improved relations with China.

Trump says the agreement will be very comprehensive and will cover "points of dispute".

Mr Trump did not offer more detail on what specific progress was being made. For the year 2019, Xi spoke of the need to pursue supply-side structural reform as the main task, take tough steps to forestall and defuse major risks, carry out targeted poverty alleviation, prevent and control pollution, and promote sustained and sound economic development, according to state-run Xinhua news agency.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last Sunday aimed to allay investor anxiety by announcing that he had held a conference call with major bank CEOs, but the comments were widely criticised by market watchers for raising new doubts.

China has said it is "ready to work" with the U.S., suggesting progress in trade talks between the two countries.

Xi said Saturday that officials from both countries have been working actively and hopes the teams can meet each other halfway, Xinhua reported.

A tariff increase also could stall China's economy, potentially slowing global growth, the report said.

Trump initiated the trade war because of complaints over unfair Chinese trade practices - concerns shared by the European Union, Japan and others.

Negotiators from both countries have been in touch over recent weeks and face-to-face talks could take place in January.

Deputy US Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish will lead the US team for talks during the week of January 7, Bloomberg reported, citing two people familiar with the matter.

The presidents both expressed "their willingness" to implement the agreements made at the start of the month over a steak dinner on the sidelines of the meeting of the G20 nations.

While China has recently taken steps that might help address US complaints about trade barriers and intellectual property theft, there was little to suggest that Xi was considering fundamental changes along the lines demanded by the Trump administration.

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