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US commerce secretary outlines China trade priorities

27 September 2017

The visiting USA commerce secretary told China's premier on Monday that the warm reception he received in Beijing "augurs very well" for Donald Trump's upcoming visit, amid tensions over trade and North Korea.

Trump is due to visit Beijing later this year and meet President Xi Jinping, who visited the United States in April.

The Trump administration has made reducing bilateral trade deficits a central goal of trade policy, and opened talks to renegotiate free trade agreements with Canada and Mexico, and with Korea.

China committed to further market opening and welcomed participation by USA firms, with both sides supporting talks to resolve trade frictions, it said.

China's relationship with the United States has been strained by the Trump administration's criticism of China's trade practices and by demands that Beijing do more to pressure North Korea to halt its nuclear weapons and missiles programs.

In his meetings in Beijing over the weekend, Ross stressed the need for "concrete deliverables and meaningful action on key issues".

Chinese officials stressed the importance of dialogue when it comes to unilateral action and said Beijing would have to respond in kind to any potential USA action.

Ross' visit was in preparation for President Donald Trump's planned trip to China in November.

The world's two top economies have also been at odds over how to handle North Korea's nuclear threat, with Beijing repeatedly calling for peace talks and the United States pressing for massive economic pressure on China's ally.

Mr Li said he hoped the U.S. would be fair to Chinese investments and would loosen high-tech exports to China, according to a China Central Television report.

China hopes the countries can improve economic and trade ties and that their common interests outweigh their differences, Mr Li told Mr Ross on Monday in brief comments to reporters before the meeting.

Ross's trip to China to "prepare the ground" for Trump's visit comes after the USA administration earlier this month blocked a Chinese-backed private equity firm from buying a US -based chipmaker.

US commerce secretary outlines China trade priorities