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  • China's Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Gao Feng attends a news conference in Beijing, China April 6, 2018.

    China's Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Gao Feng attends a news conference in Beijing, China April 6, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 29 September 2019

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will lead the Chinese delegation to visit Washington D.C. for the high-level economic and trade consultations in the week following China's National Day holiday.

China announced Sunday that it will send its top trade negotiating team to the upcoming 13th round of negotiations aimed at resolving the year-long trade war with the United States.

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Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party and chief of the China-U.S. comprehensive economic dialogue, will lead the Chinese delegation to visit Washington D.C. for the high-level economic and trade consultations in the week following China's National Day celebrations, which take place from Oct. 1 to 7. 

“The two sides should find a solution through equal dialogue in accordance with the principle of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit,” Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen said at a news conference with other officials, adding that Commerce Minister Zhong Shan will also be part of the delegation.

Yet the Chinese official reminded that “China's standpoint on the consultations remains consistent and clear,” adding that China has stressed its principles repeatedly.

The 13th round of talks is aimed to end to the tit-for-tat trade war that has shocked global markets and economic projections for months. Trade-deputies set up the ground for the ministerial-level negotiations during September, as both countries made conciliatory gestures ahead of the next round of talks, but a deal remains elusive.

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The Chinese government announced it will exempt some U.S. goods from its tariffs, which covers two lists with 16 categories of goods, and will be valid from Sept. 17, 2019, to Sept. 16, 2020, the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council said in a statement.

The products include soybeans, some anti-cancer drugs, and lubricants, as well as animal feed ingredients whey and fish meal.  Some of the categories will apply for refunds of levied duties within six months, granting an enormous break, especially to U.S. farmers. 

Back on Sept. 11, U.S. President Donald Trump welcomed China’s decision calling it a “big move” by Beijing and a positive gesture before trade negotiators from both countries meet in Washington.

Trump tweeted that the U.S. will delay increasing tariffs on US$250 billion worth of Chinese imports from Oct. 1 to Oct. 15 “as a gesture of goodwill.” The tariffs were set to increase to 30 from 25 percent on the goods.

As rising tensions between the two largest world economies continue, in his annual “State of the world address” to the General Assembly's 193 state members, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned about the devastating consequences the conflict between China and the U.S. could mean for the world.

“We must do everything possible to avert the great fracture and maintain a universal system, a universal economy with universal respect for international law; a multipolar world with strong multilateral institutions,” warned Guterres.

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