Published: Mon, January 07, 2019
Business | By Eloise Houston

China protests over USA warship sighting as trade talks start

China protests over USA warship sighting as trade talks start

The move comes amid the first round of trade talks between the us and China since both countries agreed to a 90-day ceasefire in the on-going trade war that saw both sides slapping tariffs on each other's imports.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in December agreed to put on hold a spiraling trade dispute of tit-for-tat import tariffs on hundreds of billions worth of goods.

Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Monday during a routine briefing that Chinese military aircraft and naval vessels were dispatched to identify the USA vessel and warn it to leave the area near disputed islands in the South China Sea.

The US-China trade imbalance will be a major theme during this week's bilateral trade talks.

Talks in Switzerland would follow a meeting due to start in Beijing today between U.S. and Chinese officials, the first formal gathering between the two sides since Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) on December 1 agreed to a 90-day tariff truce, following a widely anticipated dinner at the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires.

Speaking to reporters at the White House on Sunday, Trump said that trade talks with China were going "very well" and that Xi is "very much involved in the talks".

The American side is led by a deputy USA trade representative, Jeffrey D. Gerrish, according to the US government.

"Next week's negotiations are important because they will establish expectations", said Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of worldwide affairs at the US Chamber of Commerce. The U.S.is seeking concessions in Chinese business practices; in exchange it will eliminate tariffs recently imposed on Chinese goods.

And an editorial in the nationalist state-owned tabloid the Global Times suggested China would not cave to U.S. demands.

The two sides plan to continue discussions on Tuesday.

Analysts say Washington's complaints imply far-reaching changes to Beijing's industrial policies, but Ross said there was a "very good chance" of reaching an agreement, although monitoring compliance would present a challenge.

The talks are going ahead despite tensions over the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese technology giant Huawei, in Canada on U.S. charges related to possible violations of trade sanctions against Iran. Trump wants Beijing to roll back initiatives like "Made in China 2025", which calls for the state-led creation of global competitors in such fields as robotics and artificial intelligence.

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 3.4 per cent in the third quarter, and unemployment is at a five-decade low.

"Adding to that, there are concerns over state-sponsored cybersecurity attacks and a slowdown in Chinese economic growth, which itself has roiled markets", Noguchi said.

However, signs are emerging of an increasing toll on U.S. industry as well. They complain China's companies are treated unfairly in national security reviews of proposed corporate acquisitions, though nearly all deals are approved unchanged.

The trade war has damaged both economies over the past year.

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