China, US aim for common ground in trade talks

BEIJING (Reuters): Normal discussions between China and the US on the trade and economic fronts have resumed and both sides will start to pragmatically solve some concrete issues for producers and consumers, China’s commerce ministry said on Thursday.

The discussions aimed at solving various issues comes after a period of strained relations between the world’s two biggest economies, including a nearly two-year tit-for-tat trade war.

China’s Vice Premier Liu He, who has led trade negotiations with the US, has held two video calls with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in less than a week, marking the first formal engagement between the two sides on trade and economic issues under the new Biden administration.

Both calls lasted about 50 minutes, Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng told a regular news conference, adding that conversations started smoothly and Sino-US trade, macro-economic situations and domestic policies were among the topics.

“Seeking common ground while setting aside differences was the consensus,” said Gao.

China also raised its specific concerns based on the performance of its domestic economy, he said.

“In the next step, the two sides, in the interests of both countries and the world, agreed to work together and pragmatically solve some specific issues for producers and consumers, and push forward the developments of Sino-US trade and economic relations,” Gao said.