12/03/2018, 14.44
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Truce in the US-China trade war

by Silvina Premat

Xi Jinping and Donald Trump met on the sidelines of the summit. The US will put on hold import tariffs on Chinese imports for 90 days. “If at the end of this period of time, the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the 10% tariffs will be raised to 25%,” a White House press release said. Beijing says it will boost US imports to reduce trade imbalance with US.

Buenos Aires (AsiaNews) – The meeting between the presidents of the United States and China, Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, on Saturday after the G20 summit in the Argentinian capital has a global reach and will give the world a respite of three months.

Xi and Trump agreed to review the measures of their respective governments that affect trade and technological exchange and promised not to set new tariffs for 1st January. This is akin to a virtual ceasefire in the trade war between them.

The two leaders reached the deal at dinner that had a dozen men dressed in dark suits faced each other at a long table separated by a row of colorful bouquets. The two talked for about two and a half hours in a lounge at Trump’s hotel. Two women translated for the two presidents.

According to a White House statement released today, the presidents agreed to hold future talks on structural changes in the areas of forced transfer of technologies, protection of intellectual property, non-customs trade barriers, cyber intrusions and theft, services and agriculture.

Trump decided to put on hold for 90 days, starting on 1st January, the increase in tariffs on Chinese imports that his government had recently set. However, “If at the end of this period of time, the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the 10% tariffs will be raised to 25%,” said a statement issued by the US press Secretary.

For his part, Xi announced that his country will buy a "very important" quantity of products from the United States to reduce the bilateral trade imbalance.

According to China’s official news agency, Xinhua, State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who took part in Buenos Aires summit, said that at this meeting both presidents agreed that their countries "can and should "guarantee the success of bilateral relations and that coordination, cooperation and stability must characterise bilateral ties.

Xinhua cited Wang as saying that, during the meeting, the situation on the Korean Peninsula was discussed and China expressed support for a second meeting between Trump and Kim Jong Un, leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, in order to contribute to denuclearisation and the establishment of a peace mechanism in that area.

Trump and Xi Jinping sat at the table, yesterday in Buenos Aires, a year after their meeting in China, during the visit of the American president to China, a day after the White House press office stretched the truth.

After the meeting on Friday morning between President Trump and his Argentinian counterpart Mauricio Macri before the start of the G20, a press release from the US government said that “The two leaders reiterated their shared commitment to face regional challenges like Venezuela and predatory Chinese economic activity”.

In a clear move to maintain the good relationship with Xi, the Argentinian government denied that such terms were discussed. Argentina and China signed 37 bilateral agreements today, expanding the almost nine billion currency swap with Argentina. For its part, the US government did not clarify the matter.

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