Despite APEC Setback, Chinese Officials Optimistic Of Trade Deal Signing With US

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit that was scheduled to be held in Santiago in mid-November has been cancelled by the Chilean government.

This summit had assumed importance all across the world because the United States President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping were supposed to sign an initial trade agreement – called the ‘phase one’ of the trade agreement, on the sidelines of the summit. The two counties engaged in a long drawn and acrimonious trade war, plans to  move forward ona comprehensive trade deal following this ‘phase one’ singing.

But now since that option has been ruled out, questions are being raised about whether and where the phase one of the trade deal between the two countries will be signed.

However according to Chinese officials, there is still optimism that both the countries will find out a way to get the phase one of the trade deal signed by the leaders of the two countries next month.

If both sides maintain close communication through the diplomatic channels, there is still enough optimism that a deal can be signed in November, said China’s cabinet adviser Zhu Guangyao while speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a forum in Singapore on China-U.S. relations.

“Based on (the principles of) mutual trust and mutual benefits, I believe both countries can achieve great success,” said Zhu. The comments from Zhu assume importance because he was directly involved in the bilateral trade talks between eth two countries till he retired from service in 2018 and therefore has good knowledge about the attitude of the two countries about the trade deal.

While stating that the trade negotiations between Beijing and Washington are progressing well, China’s commerce ministry said in Beijing that the bilateral trade negotiations with Washington will proceed according to plan. Both the countries are maintaining close communication with each other, the ministry said in a statement and added that the top trade representatives of the two countries are scheduled to hold another round of telephonic discussion on Friday.

In the ongoing trade war between China and the US, which has been going on for a almost 15 months now, the latest twist is the cancellation of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Chile, te trade war has not only hit the economies of the two warring countries but has also shocked the global financial markets, upended global trade and caused a global slowdown stoking fears of a recession.

Last week, Trump had said that he hoped to ink the interim trade deal with Xi at the sidelines of the APEC summit and while the White House has said that it still expects to get the partial trade deal with China signed next month, both the countries are yet to decide on an alternative venue for the signing.

It is quite possible that the two countries would arrive at an agreement on trade and the two leaders could get together on neutral soil for the singing of the partial agreement, hopes Wei Jianguo, vice chairman of Chinese state-backed think tank and forum co-host China Center for International Economic Exchange.

(Adapted from Reuters.com)



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