Trade war: China says US talks 'laid ground' to resolve dispute

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Chinese worker in factoryImage source, Getty Images

China said talks with the US "laid the foundations" to resolve a damaging trade dispute between the world's two largest economies.

The negotiations in Beijing this week were "extensive, deep and detailed," China's commerce ministry said.

The US highlighted China's pledge to purchase more agriculture and other goods, without providing specifics.

Neither side has said when the two countries will meet again for further negotiations.

The midlevel talks in Beijing concluded on Wednesday. They weren't expected to produce a final deal but optimism about progress had buoyed global stock markets this week.

A statement from the US Trade Representative said the talks "focused on China's pledge to purchase a substantial amount of agricultural, energy, manufactured, and other products and services from the United States".

China's commerce ministry said the discussions "established a foundation for the resolution of each others' concerns".

They agreed to maintain close contact, the statement said.

The discussions marked the first formal talks since the US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed not to impose new tariffs at the G20 summit in December.

The truce came after both sides imposed several rounds of tariffs in 2018.

The US imposed tariffs on more than $250bn (£195.6bn) worth of Chinese goods, with the threat of more to come.

The Chinese responded by slapping tariffs of $110bn worth of US goods.

President Trump has said if no deal is reached before the truce expires on March 2, he will increase duties on $200bn worth of Chinese goods from 10% to 25% .