U.S. President, Donald Trump and Chinese Premiere Xi Jinping, held their highly anticipated bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan. According to reports, Trump agreed to hold off on the implementation of new tariffs as he had promised and to proceed with trade negotiations.
Officials also said that Trump has suggested he is willing to reverse his government’s decision to ban American companies from selling products to Chinese tech giant Huawei and that sales to Huawei could begin “very soon.” The meeting between the two leaders took about 1 hour and 20 minutes and both governments confirmed that they did not plan to levy any new tariffs on each other “at this time” and that they would restart trade negotiations.
The Chinese state-run press agency Xinhua described the meeting result as the presidents agreeing “to restart trade consultations between their countries on the basis of equality and mutual respect.”
U.S. President Trump said after the meeting with Chinese Premiere Xi that “We are right back on track,” and that the meeting between the two leaders had gone as well as it could have.
Trump also discussed Huawei, China’s largest telecommunications company that the Trump administration has said is a security risk to the U.S. and allies and suggested he will be reversing his government’s position that bans U.S. companies from selling products to it.
However, Trump said the issue of Huawei will only be resolved only at the conclusion of China-U.S. trade negotiations.
Trump said at a new conference after the meeting that, “We mentioned Huawei. I said we’ll have to save that until the very end. One of the things I will allow, however, is — a lot of people are surprised we send and we sell to Huawei a tremendous amount of product that goes into a lot of the various things that they make — and I said that that’s OK, that we will keep selling that product.” Trump added that he would allow sales to Huawei where there is no national security problem, and that there will be further meetings to fully discuss how his administration will respond to Huawei.
China’s foreign ministry said in an official statement that negotiators from both sides would discuss specific issues, but gave no details. Xi told Trump he hoped the United States could treat Chinese companies fairly, the statement added.
According to the U.S. media, CNBC, “The result of talks between Trump and Xi appeared to align with what many experts predicted ahead of the event. That is, analysts and former diplomats who spoke with CNBC had projected there would be an agreement to temporarily pause any trade war escalation.”
Before the meeting with Trump, Chinese Premiere Xi Jinping said that he was ready to exchange views on fundamental issues.
Xi said, “Forty years on, enormous change has taken place in the international situation and China-U.S. relations, but one basic fact remains unchanged: China and the United States both benefit from cooperation and lose in confrontation. Today I’m prepared to exchange views with you on the fundamental issues concerning the growth of China-U.S. relations.”