China, US give conflicting reports on trade talks | News | DW | 12.05.2019
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China, US give conflicting reports on trade talks

Beijing has remained optimistic about resolving the trade war, while Washington has doubled down on tariffs. China's chief negotiator warned, however, that there were some lines the country wouldn't cross.

China remained positive about trade talks with the US on Saturday, despite Washington imposing a new round of tariffs. Vice Premier Liu He warned, however, that there were "issues of principle" at stake.

"Negotiations have not broken down," said Liu, China's chief negotiator in the talks. "Quite the opposite, I think small setbacks are normal and inevitable during the negotiations of both countries. Looking forward, we are still cautiously optimistic."

Liu's comments clashed with those of US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who told broadcaster CNBC on Friday that there were currently no trade talks scheduled with Beijing.

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US President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that he had beaten China "so badly" that they probably weren't interested in returning to the negotiating table before the 2020 election.

On Friday, Washington once again escalated its trade war by adding levies to $200 billion (€178 billion) worth of Chinese goods.

But Chinese analysts warned that the US was perhaps not prepared for what their country was willing to withstand.

An editorial in the nationalist Global Times tabloid added that now, Washington had almost no leverage left.

"The US has misunderstood the interests of both sides, and seriously underestimated China's endurance," the newspaper wrote.

"China's confidence and core concerns will by no means be weakened by tariff hikes."

es/aw (AP, Reuters)

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