U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met at the G20 summit in Osaka on Saturday and agreed to continue trade talks and to delaying the implementation of new tariffs “at this time.” While the agreement to continue trade talks is good news and financial markets are expected to be lifted this week, a variety of analysts across the world warn that optimism should be held in check.
The China Daily, an official English-language newspaper warned in a weekend editorial that there’s no guarantee that an agreement will be reached and said, “Even though Washington agreed to postpone levying additional tariffs on Chinese goods to make way for negotiations, and Trump even hinted at putting off decisions on Huawei until the end of negotiations, things are still very much up in the air.”
The China Daily also said, “Agreement on 90% of the issues has proved not to be enough, and with the remaining 10% where their fundamental differences reside, it is not going to be easy to reach a 100% consensus, since at this point, they remain widely apart even on the conceptual level.”
During the Trump - Xi meeting on Saturday, Trump also agreed to put a hold any additional measures against Huawei, China’s largest telecom company and the world’s biggest telecom network equipment maker.
The Trump administration has blacklisted Huawei and says the Chinese firm poses a national security risk because of its ties to China’s government. U.S. intelligence has accused the company of providing “backdoors” in its equipment that Chinese intelligence authorities can use to monitor companies, government and individuals, although it has never provided proof its claims.
Chinese State Councilor Wang Yi issued a statement about the G20 meetings between Xi and Trump and said the meeting sends a “positive signal” to the world. His statement also said that if both countries follow the consensus of their leaders that they can resolve their problems.
Wang Xiao Long, from China’s Foreign Ministry’s said if the United States does what it says on Huawei then China would of course welcome it. Wang said that, “To put restrictions in areas that go beyond technology and economic factors will definitely lead to a lose-lose situation. So if the U.S. side can do what it says then we will certainly welcome that.”
Another comment on the trade talks was made by Jacob Parker, Vice-President of the U.S.-China Business Council who said that returning to talks was good news for the business community and said, “Now comes the hard work of finding consensus on the most difficult issues in the relationship, but with a commitment from the top we’re hopeful this will put the two sides on a sustained path to resolution.”
On Sunday however, Trump economic advisor Larry Kudlow appeared on various news programs and downplayed the president’s remarks related to Huawei and said that any lifting of sanctions on Huawei would only be on commercial products and that there would not be any lifting of sanctions on any products or technology that the U.S. considers to be a danger to its national security interests. As with many aspects of the Trump administration, the words of Trump and his advisors don’t match and the world will have to wait to see what the real outcome will be.