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No Breakthrough In US-China Trade Talks; Next Round In September


The latest round of U.S.-China trade talks ended without any major breakthrough.

The 12th round of talks between the two economic power houses lasted just half a day, and at the end of talks held in Shanghai, both sides agreed to meet again in September to continue negotiations to resolve the ongoing trade disputes, and secure a trade deal.

The White House said the talks were frank and constructive.

"The two sides discussed topics such as forced technology transfer, intellectual property rights, services, non-tariff barriers, and agriculture. The Chinese side confirmed their commitment to increase purchases of United States agricultural exports," said a statement from Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham.

But the Chinese version was a bit inconclusive on this.

China's Xinhua news agency said both sides discussed "the issue of China increasing its purchases of U.S. agricultural products according to its domestic needs." The US government must create "favorable conditions for these purchases", according to the state-run media.

The White House said it expects the next round of negotiations on an "enforceable trade deal" will be held in Washington, D.C., in early September.

After concluding relatively brief talks, the U.S. delegation led by United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin left without speaking to reporters.

The much-anticipated high level trade talks were already under shadow with President Donald Trump's tweet blaming Beijing of trying to change the course in their favor.

Trump expressed doubt if China is delaying the talks until next year's presidential election in the hope that he will get defeated.

Trump threatened that if gets elected for a second term, "the deal that they get will be much tougher than what we are negotiating now...or no deal at all."

Addressing the media in Beijing after the talks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying hit back at Trump by saying that Washington's flip-flop attitude and lack of sincerity was the main hurdle in reaching a much sought after trade agreement.

"The U.S. is the one that has flip-flopped in the whole process. It doesn't make any sense for the U.S. to exert pressure for maximum campaign. I believe the U.S. should show more sincerity and good faith," Hua told reporters.

She questioned the authenticity of Trump's allegation that the Chinese economy is doing badly.

"You say Chinese economy is not that good. It is obvious fact that China's GDP in the second quarter is 6.2 per cent. The U.S. GDP is lower (2.1 per cent). Who is better is very obvious fact. I believe the exercise of maximum pressure is not constructive at all. What matters is that we have to show sincerity, mutual respect and good faith to resolve our differences and concerns. I believe this makes the only right way forward," she said.

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