China Starts to Open Up on What It Agreed to Do

Confirms there is a 90-day window for trade talks
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 5, 2018 11:48 AM CST
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In this Dec. 1, 2018, photo, President Donald Trump, second from right, meets with China's President Xi Jinping, second from left, during their bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

(Newser) – Though US markets are closed Wednesday in honor of former President George HW Bush, after Tuesday's 800-point plunge investors will be looking for hints as to what to expect Thursday morning, and all eyes are on China. Tuesday's sell-off was sparked by uncertainty over what exactly Trump and Xi Jinping agreed to do in their Saturday meeting, and President Trump championed optimism in a Wednesday tweet, expressing his belief that China will push forward with a cease fire on trade. "Very strong signals being sent by China once they returned home from their long trip, including stops, from Argentina. Not to sound naive or anything, but I believe President Xi meant every word of what he said at our long and hopefully historic meeting. ALL subjects discussed!" The latest:

  • The AP reports China's Commerce Ministry did say on its website that it would begin "implementing specific issues on which consensus has been reached," but the vague statement included no details.
  • Bloomberg gets a little firmer, reporting Chinese officials are getting ready to start importing soybeans and liquefied natural gas from the US again, which it sees as an indication that the administration's claims that China will "immediately" start importing some American products again are true. And "demand for those products is immense," notes the Wall Street Journal. Still, questions remain regarding timeline, whether the retaliatory tariffs on those products will be lifted, and how much China will buy.
  • Bloomberg also notes the ministry's statement said China will indeed take part in trade talks within the 90-day "timetable and road map," marking confirmation from China that a 90-day window has been established for the negotiations. US officials say the 90 days started Saturday; China didn't specify a start date.
  • The Journal reports on another possible concession that's moving forward: China's supreme court and relevant government agencies this week announced 38 punishments for companies that commit intellectual property theft, a pain point for the US that China has thus far not done much to address.
(Read more China stories.)

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