Beijing, Dec 13 (IANS) The Chinese government on Friday said that it was “committed” to reach an agreement to resolve its trade dispute with the US only if it was “mutually beneficial” for both sides.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying, did not confirm whether the two countries have reached an agreement but highlighted the fact that the American and European stock markets rose after US President Donald Trump said on Twitter that the agreement was “very close”, reports Efe news.
“When news came out suggesting the phase one deal was close, stocks markets in the US and Europe jumped. That shows the deal is beneficial to the interests of china and the US and their people, and it is what the international community wants,” she said.
“China is committed to constructive dialog to resolve and manage the differences, but we believe consultation must be based in equality and mutual respect. The agreement has to be mutually beneficial.”
Among the stock markets that rose after Trump’s tweet was Hong Kong, whose market index, Hang Seng, closed on Friday with strong gains of 2.57 per cent.
The negotiation teams of the US and China have been in talks to resolve the conflict ahead of the impositions of tariffs worth $160 billion by the US, which are scheduled to be implemented on Sunday.
The Chinese Commerce Ministry said on Thursday that both the teams were in “close communication” and that Beijing and Washington had reached an agreement in November to withdraw tariffs in phases that both countries have imposed on each other during the dispute.
The phase one of the agreement would involve the reduction of tariffs by the US in exchange for China increasing its purchases of agricultural products from the US to between $40,000 and $50,000 million, according to experts and local media.
However, it would not address other delicate issues such as the forced technology transfer in China, which would be addressed in the second phase.
The latest escalation in the trade war came in September with the implementation of increased tariffs – from 10 per cent to 15 per cent – by the US on Chinese imports worth $112 billion.
It remains to be seen whether the two country will finally reach an agreement and whether Washington applies a new increase to products from China on December 15 or not.