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Trump calls off talks with China, 'don't want to talk to them now'

US President Donald Trump said he called off trade talks with China, raising questions about the future of a deal that is now the most stable point in an increasingly tense relationship, reported Bloomberg

02 September 2020 - 19:00

US President Donald Trump said he called off trade talks with China, raising questions about the future of a deal that is now the most stable point in an increasingly tense relationship, reported Bloomberg.

'I cancelled talks with China,' said President Trump in Yuma, Arizona. 'I don't want to talk to China right now.'



The phase-one trade deal, which came into force in February, had called for discussions on implementation of the agreement every six months. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He was supposed to hold a video conference call with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, but it was postponed indefinitely.



On Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian deferred comment to the 'competent department' when asked about Trump's remarks on the trade talks.



Chinese stocks slumped, led by biotech shares, amid growing concern over tensions between the world's biggest economies. The CSI 300 fell 1.5 per cent at the close, the largest decline in nearly a month, while the tech-heavy ChiNext gauge slumped 3.3 per cent.



Talks between the US and China continue regularly at lower levels, according to Greg Gilligan, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China. While the purchases by China could be happening more quickly, 'there is absolutely commitment and progress that's occurring,' he said.



'I think both sides recognise that this is really the glue that is holding the relationship together. There's not an awful lot of other channels of communication that are working well,' Mr Gilligan said. 'So that's a reason for some optimism in an otherwise pretty bleak scenario in the larger relationship.'


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