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China, US should work together to implement trade deal: Chinese foreign ministry

Beijing on Tuesday said that China and the United States should work together to implement their Phase One trade deal, following the principle of equality and mutual respect, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Tuesday.
China, US should work together to implement trade deal: Chinese foreign ministry

Beijing on Tuesday said that China and the United States should work together to implement their Phase One trade deal, following the principle of equality and mutual respect, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Tuesday.

This comes in the wake of comments by US President Donald Trump, who had said in a press briefing on Monday, that he was considering terminating the pact signed in January.

"The conclusion of the China-US phase one trade deal serves the interests of China, the US and the world. The two sides should work together to implement the agreement following the principle of equality and mutual respect," Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said in an official statement.

"Heads of the Chinese and US trade consultation teams had a phone conversation on May 8, agreeing to work towards creating enabling atmosphere and conditions for the implementation of the phase one trade deal and strive for more progress," he added.

China released a new list of US products on Tuesday that will be exempted from the second round of additional tariffs.

Meanwhile, the US President during a press conference said that China is seeking to renegotiate the trade agreement with the United States, but he is not interested in doing so.

"I have heard that too - they would like to reopen the trade talk to make it a better deal for them," Trump said when asked to comment on Chinese media reports on the matter. "I'm not interested in that. Let's see if they live up to the deal that they signed."

Earlier, Trump had also threatened to terminate the Phase One trade deal if China fails to fulfil its promise of buying USD 200 billion or more of American goods and services.

During a virtual town hall from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on Sunday, Trump said that Chinese President Xi Jinping had only agreed to the deal because of the Washington-imposed tariffs which "at a minimum are the greatest negotiating tool that we have ever devised that we never use", South China Morning Post reported.

"We are going to have to see what is going on (with the purchases) because of what happened," said Trump.

"They took advantage of our country. Now they have to buy and if they do not buy, we will terminate the deal. Very simple. China doesn't want to see me elected," he added.

The Phase 1 deal has ended tariffs of around USD 155 billion worth of Chinese imports that were set to take effect at the end of 2019 and halved tariffs to 7.5 per cent on another USD 120 billion in goods. But it kept in place the 25 per cent import taxes on USD 250 billion worth of Chinese products.

In exchange, China pledged to buy, over two years, at least USD 200 billion more of American goods and services than it did in 2017, including about USD 40 billion in agricultural goods.

Many have speculated that China's ability to make the purchases has been significantly damaged by the coronavirus pandemic, which led to the country's first economic contraction since 1987, after months of lockdown to contain its spread.

Since the start of coronavirus pandemic, both US and China have been at loggerheads and tensions between the two have escalated.

( With inputs from ANI )

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