China to 'immediately' implement United States trade truce measures


Beijing will "immediately implement" terms of a tariff ceasefire with Washington and is "full of confidence" a trade agreement can be reached within 90 days, a Chinese government spokesman has said. Shares were moderately lower in Asia on Wednesday following a bloodletting on Wall Street as goodwill generated by a truce between the US and China over trade evaporated in confusion over exactly what the two sides had agreed upon.

The ministry vowed to start implementing "specific matters" that were agreed - saying "the sooner the better" - but did not provide any details.

The remarks by the Chinese Commerce Ministry follow a period of relative quiet from Beijing after Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping reached a temporary truce in their trade war at a meeting over dinner in Argentina on Saturday.

The two sides have a "clear timetable and road map" for talks, the ministry statement said, but gave no details.

But the verbal detente was broken Wednesday as China's foreign ministry lashed out at criticism from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Asked about Trump's statement that Beijing would cancel tariff hikes on USA -made autos, Gao referred reporters to the Cabinet's tax commission.

'Narrow agreements and modest concessions in the ongoing trade dispute will not bridge the wide gulf in their respective economic, political and strategic interests'.

'Reaching an agreement within three months is a spur to not only China, but also the US If the two sides fail to reach a deal, all the White House promises will be invalid, ' it said.

The Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post, citing unidentified sources, said Beijing was preparing to send a 30-member negotiating team to Washington.

The delay in talking "isn't a sign of rejection, but of cautiousness", Ma said.

MARKETS DOWN Global financial markets sank to one-week lows on Wednesday amid the renewed trade concerns, extending Tuesday's slide.

During the meeting, Trump agreed to postpone increasing the tariff on $200 billion in Chinese imports to 25 percent, initially planned to go through on January 1, Sputnik reported.

The tone of Trump's latest tweets show an apparent shift from 24 hours earlier, when he was unreservedly triumphant, saying relations with China had taken a "BIG leap forward".

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said markets were in a "wait-and-see" mode.

China, in turn, agreed to purchase a "substantial amount" of U.S. agricultural, energy and industrial products, among others, to reduce the trade imbalance between the two countries, according to the White House.

Beijing pledged to import more USA products to narrow its massive trade surplus with the United States following the Argentina talks, but it has given few details about what was agreed. It also would begin buying products from U.S. farmers "immediately".

The White House says China had committed to start buying more American products and lifting tariff and non-tariff barriers immediately, while beginning talks on structural changes with respect to forced technology transfers and intellectual property protection.

Trump added China would roll back tariffs of 40 percent on cars, though Beijing has yet to confirm the move.

IP theft is a core battleground in the trade war.

The two sides also will discuss intellectual property protection, technical co-operation, market access and their trade balance, Gao said.