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China says to move quickly on US trade consensus

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The commerce ministry said talks between presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump at the weekend had been "successful" and it was "confident" of their agreement's implementation.

[BEIJING] China said on Wednesday it would push forward trade negotiations with the United States in the next 90 days and vowed to quickly implement specific issues that were already agreed upon.

The commerce ministry said talks between presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump at the weekend had been "successful" and it was "confident" of their agreement's implementation.

"The economics and trade teams of both sides will actively push forward negotiations within 90 days in accordance with a clear timetable and roadmap," the ministry said in a statement.

"China will start with the implementation of the specific matters in which consensus has been reached, the sooner the better," it said, without providing more details.

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Mr Trump and Mr Xi agreed on a trade war truce on the sidelines of a G-20 summit in Argentina on Saturday, holding off on new tariffs and giving negotiators 90 days to reach an agreement.

Wednesday's commerce ministry statement was the Chinese government's first public acknowledgement of the 90-day timeline.

The White House has said China agreed to purchase a "very substantial" amount of agricultural, energy, industrial and other products from the US to reduce a yawning trade gap. It also agreed to begin buying products from US farmers "immediately".

The two sides will also begin talks on "structural changes" affecting forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, cyber intrusions and cyber theft, services and agriculture, according to the White House.

Mr Trump on Tuesday opened the door to lengthier talks, indicating they could extend beyond the March 1 deadline.

But he threatened more tariffs if the sides fails to reach an agreement.

AFP