China-US trade talks have laid foundation for deal, China ministry says

The trade talks between China and the United States this week have laid a foundation for resolving their disputes, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday.

Both sides have implemented the consensus reached by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump, and had in-depth discussions about structural economic problems, the ministry said in a statement.

The talks “improved mutual understanding and laid a foundation for resolving issues of mutual concern,” the ministry said.

The two sides will keep in close contact, it added.

But the statement did not say if the two sides have reached any agreement during the talks that concluded on Wednesday.

The two sides held intense discussion at the vice ministerial level from Monday to Wednesday in Beijing. The delegations were led by deputy US Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish on the US side and vice commerce minister Wang Shouwen on the Chinese side.

In a statement Wednesday night, the USTR said the meetings were part of a push to achieve “needed structural changes in China with respect to forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft of trade secrets for commercial purposes, services, and agriculture”.

The USTR gave no indication as to what, if any, new agreements had been made during the latest round of talks, but its statement said the US side pushed verification and enforcement of previous agreements.