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On Same Page with US on Phase One Trade Deal to End Trade War, Says China

Image for Representation. (Reuters)

Image for Representation. (Reuters)

Beijing also confirmed that it has stepped up purchase of American agricultural produce in large quantities in a bid to address the trade deficit with the US, which last year climbed to USD 539 billion.

Beijing: China said on Tuesday that it was on the "same page" with the US on trade as it confirmed that the two countries are likely to sign a "phase one agreement" soon to end their trade war.

Beijing also confirmed that it has stepped up purchase of American agricultural produce in large quantities in a bid to address the trade deficit with the US, which last year climbed to USD 539 billion.

US President Donald Trump, who had launched the trade war last year demanding China to reduce massive trade deficit, said that after the 13 round of trade talks the two countries have reached a "very substantial phase one deal."

Trump is also demanding an intrusive verification mechanism to supervise Beijing's promise to protect intellectual property rights (IPR) technology transfer and more access to American goods to Chinese markets.

Asked whether China is on the "same page" following Trump's assertion about phase one deal, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said, "what the US side said is true, and it is the same with our understanding on this agreement."

"This economic and trade agreement will be very important. It will bring benefits to China, the US and the world, and it will contribute to trade and peace," he said.

About the US' assertion that China began purchasing large amounts of American agricultural products, he said, "as I know, Chinese companies independently purchase US agricultural products following market principles and based on domestic demand".

He said that according to the preliminary statistics, this year, Chinese companies have purchased 20 million tonnes of soybeans, 700 thousand tonnes of pork, 700 thousand tonnes of sorghum, 230 thousand tonnes of wheat and 320 thousand tonnes of cotton from the US.

"We will continue to buy more American agricultural goods," he said.

The Trump administration had first imposed tariffs on Chinese imports last year in a bid to win concessions from China, which responded with tit-for-tat tariffs.

first published:October 15, 2019, 21:11 IST