US SHUTDOWN: President Donald Trump's televised address Tuesday night helped soothe frazzled nerves over what steps he might take in the standoff with lawmakers over border wall funding, which has resulted in a partial government shutdown.
As the Trump administration continues trade negotiations with China, the US delegation is taking additional steps to make sure the Communist country follows through on its pledges.
Yoon Jung-min has this report.
The two sides are meeting face-to-face for the first time since Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, agreed December 1 to suspend further punitive action against each other's imports for 90 days while they negotiate over the fight sparked by American complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology.
China is keen to put an end to its trade dispute with the United States but will not make any "unreasonable concessions" and any agreement must involve compromise on both sides, the China Daily, a state newspaper, said on Wednesday.
The Associated Press, however, reported that world markets dropped as there was no clarity on whether progress had been made to end the trade war between the two countries, despite the talks being extended by a day.
"The officials also discussed the need for any agreement to provide for complete implementation subject to ongoing verification and effective enforcement", it went on to say.
The talks were scheduled to be held in Beijing from Monday to Tuesday, but were prolonged to Wednesday.
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Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.
A reduction in Chinese imports of USA goods came quickly after the retaliatory imposition of tariffs, the data show.
"With regard to trade issues and structural problems both sides were concerned about, both carried out extensive, deep, and meticulous exchanges, promoted mutual understanding, and laid the foundation for solving problems that both are interested in", the statement read.
The second day of trade negotiations coincided with an unannounced visit by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for talks with Xi in Beijing, amid speculation of a second meeting between Kim and Trump. A leaked photo of the first day of discussions showed Liu present at the venue, along with Commerce Minister Zhong Shan and Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen (the official head of the Chinese delegation).
Beijing on Friday cut bank reserve requirements amid slowing growth at home and pressure from the US tariffs. Trump has said he would increase those duties to 25 percent from 10 percent now if no deal is reached by March 2, and has threatened to tax all imports from China if Beijing fails to cede to United States demands. To Lighthizer - and thus the USTR office - China's promise to buy more US goods is of less interest than the need for "structural changes".
The extra day of talks came amid signs of progress on issues including purchases of USA farm and energy commodities and increased access to China's markets. "Instead of making honest efforts to solve its domestic problems, it resorts to unilateralism and protectionism, breaks the rules-based global order, coercing allies to accept unfair treaties, triggering trade frictions with China, and blocking technology transfer while trying to contain China's rise".
As the trade talks wound down, China's top economic official, Premier Li Keqiang, met with CEO Elon Musk of electric auto brand Tesla Inc.
"These issues are much more hard to solve immediately but are, frankly, much more compelling to US companies", said Jake Parker, vice president for China operations of the US-China Business Council, which represents American companies that do business with China.