Attention has turned to a meeting between President Trump with Chinese President Xi at the G-20 Summit in Japan later this month as the next step in the trade standoff between the world’s 2 biggest economies.
The Chinese government would not confirm Tuesday that such a meeting will take place, ‘mums the word.’
“We note that for some time, the US has made multiple public statements that it looks forward to a meeting between the two heads of state during the G-20 Osaka Summit,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters in Beijing when asked about the issue. “We will release information on this when we have it.”
President Trump has imposed 25% tariffs on $250-B worth of Chinese exports and is preparing to expand them to cover another $300-B.
President Trump wants China to commit to curbing its longstanding, huge trade surplus with the US.
The conflict also reflects deeper concerns over China’s ambitions to help its own industries gain a lead in Key technologies such as robotics and AI (artificial intelligence).
Nearly a year after President Trump began imposing the higher tariffs to ramp up pressure on Beijing, hopes are focused on a possible Top-level compromise to break a stalemate in talks that were suspended last month.
President Trump said Tuesday that if President Xi does not meet with him at the Group of 20 major economies gathering in Osaka, more US tariffs on Chinese exports may go into effect, though he expects President Xi to attend, and that they have a good relationship.
No talks are planned in Beijing or Washington before the Osaka event.
“We do not want a trade war, but we are not afraid of fighting one,” China’s official representative said, reiterating earlier statements. “If the US is ready to have equal consultations, our door is wide open. But if it insists on escalating trade frictions, we will respond to it with resolution and perseverance.”