China praises positive steps in US trade spat

Chinese state media on Monday praised a significant dialing back of trade tensions with Washington, saying Beijing had stood its ground.

It said that the two countries had huge potential for win-win business cooperation.

The US trade war with China is “on hold” after the world’s largest economies agreed to drop their tariff threats.

Meanwhile, they work on a wider trade agreement, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday.

The previous day, Beijing and Washington said they would keep talking about measures.

Under such under measures China would import more energy and agricultural commodities from the US to narrow the 335 billion dollars annual US goods and services trade deficit with China.

In an editorial, the official China media said everyone could heave a sigh of relief at the ratcheting down of the rhetoric.

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It cited China’s chief negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He, as saying the talks had proved to be “positive, pragmatic, constructive and productive”.

“In spite of all the pressure, China didn’t ‘fold,’ as U.S. President Donald Trump observed.

Instead, it stood firm and continually expressed its willingness to talk,” the English-language newspaper wrote.

“That the US finally shared this willingness, means the two sides have successfully averted the head-on confrontation that at one point seemed inevitable,” it said.

During an initial round of talks this month in Beijing, Washington demanded that China reduce its trade surplus by 200 billion dollars.

No dollar figure was cited in the countries’ joint statement, on Saturday.

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The ruling Communist Party’s People’s Daily said that in the energy and agriculture sectors the two countries had obvious synergies.

The US has the capacity to satisfy the massive Chinese market.

“The ballast stone of Sino-U.S. ties are an equal and mutually beneficial trade and business relationship. Its essence is win-win cooperation,” it said.

China will naturally need to import more to satisfy demand from its increasingly affluent consumers, the newspaper wrote.

“Trade wars have no winners,” it added in the commentary, published under the pen name “Zhong Sheng”, meaning “Voice of China”.

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