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Trump talks trade with Xi's envoy

By Chen Weihua in Washington and Zhong Nan and Li Xiang in Beijing | China Daily | Updated: 2018-05-18 17:24
US President Donald Trump meets with President Xi Jinping's special envoy and Vice-Premier Liu He at the White House on May 17, 2018. [Photo/Donald Trump's Twitter account]

US President Donald Trump met with visiting Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He in the White House Oval Office on Thursday to exchange views on bilateral economic and trade relations.

Liu, as a special envoy for President Xi Jinping, extended Xi and first lady Peng Liyuan's warm greetings to Trump and his wife Melania.

Trump expressed his thanks for the greetings and asked Liu to convey their well wishes to Xi and Peng.

Liu, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, told Trump that China-US relations have achieved important and positive progress under the guidance of the two heads of the state.

He expressed that bilateral relations are now at an important stage, and both sides should implement the important consensus reached by the two leaders, meet each other halfway, respect each other and make concerted efforts to promote a healthy and stable bilateral relationship.

Trump said that he highly values the good working relationship and personal friendship with President Xi and he is willing to continue to maintain close contact with him to push forward US-China relations.

During the meeting, Trump and Liu engaged in a deep exchange of views on the bilateral economic and trade relationship. Liu said that his visit this time is to follow up on the consensus reached by the two heads of the state and to continue deepened exchange with the US side on bilateral economic and trade issues.

Liu, who is leading a Chinese delegation for trade talks in Washington, expressed that China is willing to work with the US to properly handle and solve bilateral economic and trade issues based on the principle of mutual respect and mutual benefit, and to ensure that bilateral economic and trade cooperation continues to be the ballast and booster of China-US relations.

Trump said that it's very important for the US and China to maintain a cooperative relationship in economic and trade fields. He said that both the US and China have good economic momentum and enormous market potential, adding that there is huge space for bilateral economic and trade cooperation.

The US president said he hopes that the two economic teams work together to actively resolve the issues in bilateral economic and trade relations. He said the two countries should strengthen trade and investment cooperation in the energy and manufacturing sectors, expand agricultural trade and market access and bolster cooperation in protecting intellectual property rights, to bring more practical benefits for the two peoples.

US Vice-President Mike Pence, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and several other US officials also attended the meeting.

On Wednesday, Liu met with former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady.

Liu wished Kissinger well on his upcoming 95th birthday on May 27.

Kissinger described US-China relations as consequential for global peace and prosperity. He said managing bilateral relations requires strategic thinking and vision, adding that the two sides should strengthen strategic communication, further expand shared interests, properly manage differences and demonstrate leadership on global and regional issues.

In meeting with US lawmakers, Liu said that developing a long-term, healthy and stable relationship between China and the US is in the interest of both and is expected by the international community.

Liu pointed out that China and the US have far more shared interests than differences, and bilateral relations will grow smoothly when the two countries properly handle each other's core and major interests. Otherwise, they will be at odds.

In Beijing on Thursday, the Ministry of Commerce reiterated that the Sino-US trade relationship is driven by market forces and should conform to market economy rules.

"We will resolutely defend our own interests and will not make a deal at the cost of China's core interests," ministry spokesman Gao Feng said.

Gao said China is actively adjusting its industrial and trade structure and is expanding its imports from all countries, including the US, to better serve consumers' demand for high-quality products.

The ministry said China also welcomes companies from around the world, including US companies, to develop businesses in China.

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