Economy

China 'confident' of trade deal with US

China 'confident' of trade deal with US

Delegates from the USA and China on Monday began the crucial face-to-face negotiations here to ease a bitter trade war between the world's two largest economies amid growing concerns about China's slowing economy and its impact on American businesses.

President Donald Trump claims his administration is "doing very well in negotiations with China", but the United States team heading to Beijing this week is starting nearly from scratch.

Lu Kang, spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry, said: "From the beginning we have believed that China-US trade friction is not a positive situation for either country or the world economy".

China says it is ready to buy more USA goods, but it is resisting U.S. demands for tougher action on technology transfers, and less state support for strategic industries like robotics and computer chips.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in December agreed to put on hold a spiraling trade dispute of tit-for-tat import tariffs on hundreds of billions worth of goods.

China has made "stern representations" to the U.S. after an American destroyer sailed through waters claimed by Beijing in the disputed South China Sea.

The visiting delegation, led by Deputy US Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish, left its hotel in Beijing on Monday morning without speaking to reporters for a first day of talks.

The talks come a month after Trump and Xi agreed to suspend a planned tariff hike for three months to give negotiators space to reach an agreement and end a dispute that has roiled world markets. The preliminary skirmishes have already done damage to China's economy and some sectors of the United States economy as well as its financial markets and have had flow-on effects in the greater Asian region and even Europe. The move prompted China to increase tariffs on $110 billion of U.S. goods.

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The two sides plan to continue discussions on Tuesday.

Economic data show the Chinese economy has suffered since Trump past year slapped stinging tariffs on more than $250 billion in Chinese imports.

China says it's ready to buy more American goods. Trump wants Beijing to roll back initiatives like "Made in China 2025", which calls for the state-led creation of global competitors in such fields as robotics and artificial intelligence.

The White House said in December the two sides would negotiate "structural changes with respect to forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft".

COUNTING THE COST: Is China's economy slowing? American officials worry those might erode USA industrial leadership. Apple's stock fell almost 10 percent after the announcement.

The meeting comes amid rising concern about the impact of trade tensions on the global economy.

"China would like to see some sort of deal be had, even if it's a temporary one that takes people through a few years", Einar Tangen, a political analyst specialising on China and an adviser to the Chinese government on economic and development issues, told Al Jazeera from Beijing. Trump said on Friday he wasn't concerned about Apple's revenue warning.