US and Chinese officials yesterday in Beijing held a second day of trade talks overshadowed by an unannounced visit by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
It was the first time US and Chinese officials have met face-to-face since US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) agreed to a tariff truce in Argentina on Dec. 1.
The US delegation — led by Deputy US Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish and including officials from the US departments of treasury, commerce, agriculture and energy — left its hotel without speaking to reporters ahead of the talks.
Negotiators were seeking to resolve a number of thorny issues that have threatened an all-out trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.
These include more Chinese purchases of US goods and services to reduce a yawning trade gap, increased access to China’s markets, stronger protection of intellectual property and a reduction in Beijing’s subsidies.
Neither side have provided any details about the talks, which were later reportedly extended into the evening.
The temporary ceasefire came after the two sides imposed import duties on more than US$300 billion of each other’s goods.
US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on Monday said that China’s economy is more vulnerable to the fallout from the trade dispute.
“It certainly has hurt the Chinese economy,” Ross told CNBC, adding that China exports many more goods to the US than the other way around.
There was a “very good chance” of reaching an agreement, although monitoring compliance would present a challenge, Ross said.
Without a resolution, punitive US duty rates on US$200 billion of Chinese goods are due to rise from 10 percent to 25 percent on March 2.
The second day of trade negotiations coincided with an unannounced visit to Beijing by Kim for talks with Xi, amid speculation of a second meeting between Kim and Trump.
Some analysts have said that China — Pyongyang’s key diplomatic ally and main source of trade — could use Kim’s visit as a bargaining chip in the US trade talks.
However, Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies senior adviser Bonnie Glaser said that the timing of the North Korean leader’s arrival could be coincidental.
“I don’t see any linkage with the trade talks,” Glaser said. “China’s ability to use [North Korea] as leverage has diminished considerably since Trump opened his own channel to Kim.”
Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Lu Kang (陸慷) said that Kim’s visit and the trade talks were “two separate matters.”
“China’s position in the China-US trade friction and its solutions to the friction is open, it’s transparent,” Lu told a regular media briefing.
“We have shown our sincerity, we have established our stand in this, so we don’t need other actions to gain the confidence of the US,” he said. “The US is very clear about China’s stance.”
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
China would attack Taiwan if there is no other way of stopping it from becoming independent, Chinese General Li Zuocheng (李作成) said yesterday. Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 15th anniversary of China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, Li, who is chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Central Military Commission, left the door open to using force. The 2005 law is China’s legislative basis for military action against Taiwan. “If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
CASH BOOST: Foreign spouses with residency permits are also eligible for the coupons, which can be bought at post offices or linked to digital payment options Stimulus coupons for Taiwanese and foreign spouses with residency permits can be ordered starting on July 1 and can be used from July 15 to Dec. 31, the Executive Yuan said yesterday. Aimed at boosting domestic spending, the coupons worth NT$3,000 (US$100.04) are to cost NT$1,000. “For our consumers, this is a very good deal as they get three times as much value for their money,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told a news conference in Taipei. While the coupons are to have a wide range of uses, including at department stores, restaurants, book stores, night markets, beauty and hair salons, hotels, and to