China wants to ‘very badly’ strike a trade deal with US

Xi pledges support for private firms

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said trade discussions with China were "moving along nicely" and that he planned to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the upcoming G-20 summit, after the two had a "very good" talk.

"I think we will make a deal with China", he told journalists at the White House. "And I think it'll be a very fair deal for everybody, but it will a good deal for the United States", he said.

The announcement gave hope that any trade resolution later this month would result in China dropping its additional 25% import tariff on soybeans bought from the US.

"We're doing a normal, routine run-through of things we already put together and normal preparation", Kudlow said on CNBC Friday.

Trump told reporters in Washington that "I know they want to make a deal".

Trump said he will have dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the November 30-December 1 G20 summit of industrial and emerging market nations.

The United States has targeted $348 billion in Chinese products with tariffs, a move which saw Beijing lashed back with $153 million tariffs US goods. Bloomberg cited unnamed sources as saying that Trump had also asked his team to begin drafting terms for an agreement on trade with China, although economic adviser Larry Kudlow later denied that claim.

"He wants to do it", Trump said of Xi.

"We're optimistic this is a potential off-ramp of increasingly antagonistic trade tensions and hope it leads to a pause and new negotiations", he said.

Earlier Friday, the Chinese foreign ministry said Trump and Xi had an "extremely positive" phone conversation on Thursday.

Despite the positive message from Beijing, analysts were more pragmatic about what could be achieved by the leaders' meeting given the two sides' huge differences on strategic and ideological issues, as well as the growing hostility towards China in the United States. "We're not on the cusp of a deal".

"There is a long way to go" on negotiations, the U.S. official said, according to the tweet.

The Trump Administration also has taken action to hit the Chinese semiconductor industry, indicting 2 companies accused of stealing trade secrets and banning USA software and equipment exports to 1 of them.

Lu Xiang, a specialist on United States affairs at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that Beijing had been preparing for a "worse than the worst" confrontation with the U.S., and added that any further escalation would be fatal to an already highly volatile USA stock market. "If the policy talks don't, it may deteriorate", Kudlow said.

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