China ’s Ministry of Commerce issued a statement on November 26 that Chinese Vice Premier Liu He spoke with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin that morning. The two sides discussed and resolved the core issues of concern to everyone, and reached a consensus. They agreed to maintain communication on the remaining first-stage agreement negotiations.
Chinese officials on the call also included Commerce Minister Zhong Shan, Governor of the People’s Bank of China Yi Gang, and Deputy Director of the National Development and Reform Commission Ning Jizhen.
China and the United States have always been interested in reaching the first-phase trade agreement. The Wall Street Journal quoted sources as saying on the 21st that Liu He has invited Lighthizer and Mnuchin to a meeting in Beijing, adding that China hopes that this round of talks can be held in November Held before the American Thanksgiving holiday on the 28th.
The report pointed out that US officials expressed their willingness to meet, but unless China made clear its commitments on intellectual property protection, compulsory technology transfer and agricultural product procurement, they would be reluctant to negotiate in China. The two sides have not agreed on a meeting date for the time being.
The Ministry of Commerce also stated on the same day that the two sides have maintained close communication. On the 20th, he stated that he was “cautiously optimistic” that the first-phase trade agreement between China and the United States would be reached. Although the China-US trade negotiations are continuing under the situation of tension between the two countries, China-US relations are showing tension due to issues such as Hong Kong. U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien said on the 23rd that China and the United States are expected to reach a trade agreement before the end of the year, but stressed that Washington will not turn a blind eye to the situation in Hong Kong, the South China Sea or other China’s international activities.
Vice President Mike Pence said on the 19th that it would be “very difficult” for the United States to reach a trade agreement with China if China toughens Hong Kong demonstrators. He also said that while Washington discussed the first-phase trade agreement with Beijing, it would take a tough stance on China.