China’s chief trade negotiator has invited his American counterparts for a new round of face-to-face talks, as both sides are struggling to strike a limited deal to help de-escalate tensions between the world’s two largest economies, reported the Wall Street Journal.
During a phone call late last week, Liu He, President Xi Jinping’s point person on trade negotiations with Washington, extended the invitation to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to hold the meeting in Beijing, said WSJ sources. US negotiators have indicated they would be willing to meet in person, but that they would be reluctant to trek across the Pacific unless China makes it clear that it would make commitments on intellectual-property protection, forced technology transfers and agricultural purchases.
Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said Thursday that the two sides have been keeping in close touch. Chinese officials hope the in-person negotiations can take place before next Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday in the US, but the US side hasn’t committed to a date.