Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday that China holds a “positive attitude” toward trade talks with the US, but would “fight” to get the best terms.
“As we always said we don’t want to start the trade war but we are not afraid,” Xi said, responding to questions from representatives of the New Economy Forum, held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
“When necessary we will fight back but we have been working actively to try not to have a trade war,” he said. He added that the nation was working towards a “phase one agreement on the basis of mutual respect and equality.”
China and US have been locked into an extended trade war for over a year, over what the US viewed as China’s unfair protectionist trade policies and intellectual property theft.
The countries have hit each other with heavy tariffs and regulations that have cost each nation billions of dollars.
Xi’s comments in Beijing were addressed to a group that included former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, former US treasury secretary Henry Paulson and former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd.
The two superpowers had been heading towards agreeing a “phase one” deal, announced by Trump on October 11, but since then progress has again stalled with no written text being finalized.
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