OSAKA, Japan – Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to provide President Trump with a set of conditions that the US should meet before Beijing agrees to settle a market-shaking trade confrontation. The question is raised as to whether the two leaders agree to resume talks
Under the assumptions, Chinese officials said with knowledge of the plan, Beijing insisted that the US override its ban on selling US technology to the US pick up Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies Co. Beijing also wants the US to lift all punitive tariffs and to drop efforts to make China buy even more US exports than Beijing had announced when the two leaders met last December.
US Trade Negotiator Robert Lighthizer and his Chinese counterpart Liu He talked over the phone over the week about ways to get the talks back on track and to expect a face-to-face meeting in the run-up to the presidents' Saturday afternoon after a 20-headed summit in Osaka said friends w at the discussions. It's far from clear what the two will do ̵
Despite his preconditions, Mr. Xi is not expected to have a confrontational tone with Mr. Trump, according to Chinese officials. Rather, he will outline what he considers to be an optimal bilateral relationship, including China's security-related assistance burdening the US, especially Iran and North Korea. The meeting examined whether Chinese counterparts were willing to start negotiations where they have broken off. According to the US and Chinese authorities, the two nations were on the brink of a trade deal in April when, according to the US, China did not introduce any more provisions. According to the US officials, it is up to Beijing to restart the talks.
"So we went in and thought we had a deal, and we went in and then they said, 'You know, it's us. We will not tell you specific things that we've agreed on,' President said Trump on Wednesday to Fox Business Network. Unless China revives the talks, it is ready to continue the so-called "Phase 2" – assess the levies on the remaining $ 300 billion of Chinese imports that are not currently taxed. He said he could start with 10% duty on items, including consumer goods like clothing, cell phones and laptops.
This was the tactic Mr. Trump applied to the last $ 200 billion of merchandise – starting at 10% to put pressure on some corporate lobbyists hoping that the talks will produce a plan to finalize the negotiations within a set timeframe. In this way, the two sides are under pressure to deliver – and President Trump would probably fail to push the tariffs during this time.
The Chinese leader is not expected to make big concessions in his meeting with Mr. Trump. That's because he's facing increasing political pressure on the home front to stand up to Washington. This is seen as unfair accusation by Chinese elite political circles to blame China for a number of misdeeds, as it violates intellectual property protection and unduly subsidizes state-owned enterprises and spies on US companies.
"The Chinese side hopes to set a tone for the future relationship," said a person who was briefed on China's plans in Beijing.
President Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are set to meet in Japan. All eyes will be on the two most powerful leaders in the world, but can they settle their quarrels? Photo: Getty Images
Mr. Xi is expected to find a hard-core audience in Mr. Trump who continues to promise to raise tariffs, and reckons on his tough attitude towards China as a political plus in his re-election. "The incentives to not make a deal are getting bigger," said Michael Pillsbury, a China scientist at the Hudson Institute, who is in contact with the White House. In a deal, "either Xi or Trump would be criticized. That would not have happened six months ago, "Pillsbury said.
A ceasefire may give momentum to both sides and may be a possible way to move closer to a series of other tense fronts over disputes over China's expansionary influence on the South China Sea on the US campaign against Chinese technology companies over security concerns in the US In addition to Huawei, the world's largest telecommunications equipment supplier, other Chinese companies were also involved in the last few days.
USA The negotiators have tried to separate the Huawei problem from the trade talks, although Mr. Trump has spoken several times about packaging Huawei in a trade agreement. A Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman urged the US at a regular press conference in Beijing on Thursday to "immediately lift the repressive and sanctioning measures against Huawei and other Chinese companies."
Under an agreement, Beijing is seeking to eliminate all additional tariffs that the US has imposed since the beginning of last year – 25% on Chinese imports of $ 250 billion. Beijing has also stated that US demands for Chinese purchases of American goods should be "appropriate." According to Chinese officials, these must be based on Chinese domestic demand rather than demand that China now divert its purchases from other countries.
] Some Chinese government advisors said US negotiators have raised the purchase target to $ 300 billion a year for exports from current levels. Talks last December raised $ 200 billion. It would be unlikely to reach this $ 200 billion figure. It would require more than a doubling of US exports to China, amounting to $ 120.1 billion in 2018 and $ 129.8 billion in 2017.
Chinese officials have also repeatedly stated that the text of an agreement should be "balanced." The US should also make some concessions to China. China has not published its demands. In the past, Beijing has been calling for more high-tech exports from the US and an easier way for Chinese people to obtain US visas and business permits.
In recent weeks, President Xi has tried to improve Beijing's bargaining position with Washington. Last week, Mr. Xi met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang, becoming the first Chinese head of state to visit the retired state for 14 years.
By strengthening China's relations with North Korea, especially in times of deadlocked talks between Pyongyang and Washington, Mr. Xi sent a message to Mr. Trump that China could continue to help the US ease tensions on the Korean peninsula. Some US officials said they believe Mr. Xi is playing a positive role.
The mood and agenda of the G-20 meeting in Osaka is in sharp contrast to the last meeting of Heads of State and Government at a G-20 meeting in Buenos Aires in December. Then the two sides met for a cozy dinner. Chinese officials regarded China's economy as shaky, and Mr. Xi endeavored to boost business confidence.
Shortly afterwards, at the request of the US, Canada began arresting Huawei's executives for violating Iran sanctions and Washington began taking steps to slow Huawei's technology flow and portray it as an espionage threat. Huawei denies the allegations.
More nationalist voices in the Communist Party and in the public accused Washington of using the trade war to halt China's rise and undermine the state-run economic model that has been delivering strong growth for decades.
Mr. Trump also faces his critics – and many Democratic presidential candidates who are ready to beat him if he accepts what is considered a weak deal with China after charging US consumers with higher fees. In the Democratic primary debate on Wednesday evening, four out of ten candidates voted China the biggest threat to the US.
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