China, US want to work together on trade: foreign ministry

US President Donald Trump

Ross's remarks emphasised President Donald Trump's confidence that the robust United States economy means Washington can outlast Beijing in a test of wills over trade.

"Talks are underway. The two sides have expressed their willingness to hold constructive talks and to work together to resolve the disputes following the consensus reached between the leaders of the two countries", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said in a press briefing.

"I think China wants to get it resolved - their economy's not doing well", Mr Trump told reporters on Sunday. The Commerce Ministry did not give further details on who was leading Chinese negotiators or on the meeting's agenda.

"Of course, in the past two years of trade talks, China has also promised a lot, but has not fundamentally fulfilled much of them", Qin told NTD Television, in an interview.

"The relevant action by the US vessel violated Chinese laws and relevant worldwide laws, infringed upon China's sovereignty, and undermined peace, security and order of the relevant waters", Lu said.

The president has taken heart in China's faltering economy, repeating that it makes Beijing more likely to strike a deal.

The move comes as trade talks between China and the USA are underway in Beijing, the first round of face-to-face discussions since both sides agreed to a 90-day truce in a trade war that has roiled worldwide markets.

US and Chinese officials have begun talks aimed at ending the trade war that has imposed hundreds of billions of dollars in tariffs over the past year.

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An editorial in the nationalist state-owned tabloid the Global Times on Monday said China would not back down and cave to USA demands. There are concerns that USA growth, 3.4 percent in the third quarter, could also be slowing even as the country's unemployment rate remains almost at a five-decade low.

Asian markets were broadly higher on Monday after strong U.S.jobs data lifted indexes on Wall Street.

Chinese state-run media also seem optimistic about the talks, though they continued to deny USA claims of widespread intellectual-property theft. But economists say that is too little time to settle all the disputes that bedevil U.S. They criticize his tactics but echo US complaints about Chinese industrial policy and market barriers. President Xi Jinping responded by imposing penalties on $110 billion of American goods, slowing customs clearance for US companies and suspending issuing licenses in finance and other businesses.

He added that it would be easiest to tackle immediate trade, but harder to resolve enforcement issues and structural reforms such as intellectual property rights and market access.

But in a sign of how interconnected the two economies are, Apple shares dropped last week after the tech giant reported steeper-than-expected "economic deceleration" in the last quarter in China - one of its largest overseas markets.

Chinese exports to the USA held up through late 2018 despite Mr. Trump's tariffs.

In his New Year address, Xi said despite the slowdown the Chinese economy stayed within a reasonable range in 2018.

"Most firms expect the trade war to escalate", the bank said.

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