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China said trade negotiations with the U.S. will restart, while stressing that its core concerns need to be addressed.
“The trade teams in the two nations will restart trade negotiations on a basis of equality and mutual respect, following the consensus agreed by their two state leaders in Osaka,” Gao Feng, a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, said on Thursday at a press conference.
The remarks signal that the lead negotiators from the world’s two biggest economies may soon get back to the negotiating table after talking via phone earlier this week. That call was the first confirmed contact since President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump met last month and agreed to resume talks.
Gao didn’t say when the negotiations would be held, but said he hoped the U.S. would implement its commitments with regards to Huawei Technologies Co., the Chinese company on an American blacklist, which restricts its access to products originating in the the U.S.
Gao’s remarks indicate that the two sides are now preparing for the next round of negotiations, according to Zhou Xiaoming, a former Mofcom official and diplomat. “A phone call is not an official restart of negotiations but rather a preparation. It seems the two sides are arm-wrestling about the basis on which they’ll resume talks, as well as when and where,” Zhou said.
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