Monday, 18 February, 2019

USA and China resume trade talks in Beijing | Money Talks

Containers are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai China Containers are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai China
Jeannette Daniel | 13 February, 2019, 04:14

Last week, Trump said that he would not meet Xi before the deadline, but further planning for a summit had not been reported.

China struck an upbeat note on Monday as trade talks resumed with the United States, but also expressed anger at a U.S. Navy mission through the disputed South China Sea, casting a shadow over the prospect for improved Beijing-Washington ties. The world's two largest economies are trying to hammer out a deal before a March 1 deadline, after which U.S. tariffs on US$200 billion (S$271 billion) worth of Chinese imports are scheduled to increase to 25 per cent from 10 per cent.

Those tariffs now stand at 10 percent, but an additional $50 billion worth of imports has already been hit by a 25 percent tariff. They're inching closer to a March 1 deadline to come to an agreement.

Aides to Trump say this week's talks are important as they need to demonstrate credible progress to both the president and financial markets. And while no date has yet been agreed for a meeting with China's President Xi Jinping, he said he expects that to happen "at some point". But the two sides are only just starting the work of drafting a common document and are still tussling over how a deal may be enforced, which USA officials have repeatedly called a crucial element. The U.S. president has said no deal will be final until he meets with his Chinese counterpart. The situation could get worse as a truce on tariffs is set to expire in early March. China will likely respond by raising tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods that it announced previous year in retaliation.

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During that operation, a Chinese destroyer came within 41kms of the United States warship, forcing it to manoeuvre to avoid a collision. It has fast-tracked approval of a law that would ban theft of intellectual property and forced technology transfers, but the question is how much more it can compromise. While the American side has expressed optimism, officials caution that there are still many large issues between the US and China.

"U.S. Forces operate in the Indo-Pacific region on a daily basis, including in the South China Sea", Doss said in a statement.

Speaking about the most recent operation, Commander Clay Doss, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet, told CNN that the action was meant to "to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by worldwide law".

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