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'Back on track': Trump, Xi agree to resume trade talks

OSAKA, Japan (AFP) -- US President Donald Trump said trade negotiations with China were "back on track" after "excellent" talks Saturday with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in which Washington reportedly agreed to hold off on new tariffs.

The crunch talks on the damaging trade war between the world's top two economies came on the sidelines of a meeting of the G20 in Japan's Osaka, with all eyes on whether the pair would agree a truce.

 
US President Donald Trump shake hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday. (Yonhap)
US President Donald Trump shake hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday. (Yonhap)


"We had a very good meeting with President Xi of China," Trump said after the talks. "I would say excellent."

"We are right back on track," he added without confirming any details of any agreement.

Both sides were expected to issue official formal statements later, but Chinese state media said Washington had committed not to impose any new tariffs on Beijing's exports and that the two sides had agreed to restart trade and economic talks.

The outcome was likely to be seen as a win, with experts cautioning ahead of the meeting that a full agreement was unlikely but a truce that avoided a new tit-for-tat round of tariffs would be positive.

Trump has struck a conciliatory tone since his arrival in Japan for the G20 summit, despite saying China's economy was going "down the tubes" before he set out for Osaka, and appeared keen to reach an agreement.

He said he was ready for a "historic" deal with China as the leaders kicked off their meeting and Xi told him that "dialogue" was better than confrontation. (AFP)
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