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Chinese president meets U.S. trade representative, treasury secretary, hailing “important progress”

Chinese President Xi Jinping (C) meets with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who are here for a new round of China-U.S. high-level economic and trade consultations, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 15, 2019. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)

Pan Pacific Agency | COMMUICATION AGENCY FOR PACIFICA REGIONS

BEIJING, Feb 16, 2019, Xinhua. Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday met with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who were here for a new round of China-U.S. high-level economic and trade consultations, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, saying “important progress for the current stage” was made after the two-day talks, reported the Xinhua.

Calling China-U.S. ties one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world today, Xi said the two countries share broad common interests and shoulder important responsibilities in safeguarding world peace and stability, as well as promoting global development and prosperity.

It serves both peoples’ fundamental interests and meets the expectations of the international community to maintain sound and stable development of China-U.S. ties, Xi said.

Xi said he met with U.S. President Donald Trump in Argentina last December and reached important consensus as both countries agreed to jointly advance the China-U.S. relationship featuring coordination, cooperation and stability.

“I hope that both teams will strengthen communication, focus on cooperation and manage differences in the principles and directions set by President Trump and I, so as to promote the sound and stable development of China-U.S. economic and trade cooperation and bilateral ties,” Xi said.

The two teams have carried out intensive and conducive consultation since last December, Xi said.

“I have repeatedly said that China and the United States cannot be separated from one another. Only through cooperation can a win-win situation be attained, and confrontation will certainly lead to a lose-lose scenario,” Xi said, adding that “cooperation is the best choice for both sides.”

Regarding differences and frictions in trade, Xi said China stands ready to resolve them through cooperation and to reach a deal that can be accepted by both sides.

“Of course, there are principles in cooperation,” he added.

Noting that the eyes of the world have been on Beijing these past two days, Xi said the two sides “have again achieved important progress for the current stage.”

“Both sides will meet again next week in Washington. I hope you all will make persistent efforts and try to reach a mutually beneficial agreement,” the president said.

Lighthizer and Mnuchin extended cordial greetings and best wishes from Trump to Xi.

The trade relationship between the United States and China is very important, they said.

Both teams involved in the consultation have been stepping up their efforts in implementing the consensus reached by the two heads of state after their meeting in Argentina, according to the two senior officials.

On the basis of previous negotiations, the two sides had in-depth discussions on economic and trade issues of common concerns in the past two days, and new progress was made on important and difficult issues, they said, adding that they have high hopes although a lot of work lies ahead.

The U.S. team is willing to work with their Chinese counterpart in the next stage to maintain close communication and speed up their work in order to reach a deal that accords with the interests of both sides, they said.

They also told Xi that President Trump highly respects him and looks forward to keeping close contacts with him.

Conveying his sincere greetings to Trump via Lighthizer and Mnuchin, Xi said he cherishes the good working relationship with Trump very much and is willing to keep in touch with him through various means.

The new round of China-U.S. trade talks kicked off in Beijing on Thursday morning.

The opening ceremony of the talks was co-chaired by Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chief of the Chinese side of the China-U.S. comprehensive economic dialogue, Lighthizer and Mnuchin.

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