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29 Jun, 2019 01:20

‘Time will tell’: Trump not sure he is ready to stop China trade war, despite ‘excellent’ Xi meeting

‘Time will tell’: Trump not sure he is ready to stop China trade war, despite ‘excellent’ Xi meeting

The trade dispute, including the US ban on tech giant Huawei, has dominated bilateral talks between Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, but the US leader is not sure if the two sides are ready to strike a deal.

“Cooperation and dialogue are better than friction and confrontation,” Xi told Trump in prepared remarks that outlined decades of China-US ‘ping pong diplomacy’ relations just ahead of their closed-door rendezvous.

China and the US both benefit from cooperation and lose in a confrontation.

Trump in his less polished speech claimed that the US is and has always been ready to strike a trade deal and the sides “were very close” to reaching it, right before “something happened where it slipped a little bit.”

But it would be historic if we can do a fair trade deal. We're totally open to it, and I know you're totally open to it.

However, before meeting Xi face to face, Trump seemed less optimistic, and while he repeatedly emphasized his “friendship” with China and its leader personally, he said:

As to whether or not we can make a deal, time will tell.

Trump’s efforts to restrict Chinese telecom giant Huawei from building 5G networks around the world and the American blacklisting of the company might have been that mysterious ‘something’ that complicated the trade negotiations between the world's biggest economies.

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In May, the Trump administration effectively barred American companies from doing any business with Huawei and supplying the company with parts and technology. The US accuses Huawei of spying for the Chinese government, while the tech giant denounces the pressure as a desperate attempt by Washington to preserve its fleeting dominance over global telecommunications lines.

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The US-China trade war has cast a shadow over the G20, where world leaders have expressed repeated concern over the effect the dispute is having on global economic performance. A number of leaders have also voiced their distress over American global trade feuds and Trump's protectionist policies.

The much-anticipated Trump-Xi meeting comes after trade negotiations between the world's two largest economies broke down in May. Ahead of the talks, Trump said he might slap additional tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods unless Beijing accepts Washington’s trade terms.

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