US President Donald Trump has announced plans for an “extended” meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 summit in Japan next week, a significant development aimed at resolving the ongoing trade war between the two countries.
Speaking at the White House Tuesday, Trump said US and Chinese negotiators would resume negotiations on Wednesday ahead of his planned talk with Xi at the sidelines of the summit in Osaka.
Trump was largely optimistic about a trade deal coming to fruition, despite talks breaking down last month.
“I have a very good relationship with President Xi,” Trump said. “We’ll see what happens. I think we have a chance. China wants a deal. They don’t like the tariffs.”
He added that a meeting between the two leaders “might go well.”
“Frankly our people are starting to deal as of tomorrow, the team is starting to deal,” Trump said. “China would like to make the deal. We would like to make the deal but it has to be a good deal for everybody.”
On Twitter, Trump confirmed he had spoken with Xi by telephone earlier in the day, and he returned to the topic during a rally kickstarting his reelection campaign Tuesday night. Trump said that he wanted a “good deal and a fair deal or we’re not going to have a deal at all,” adding that Xi was a “terrific person.”
The Chinese Foreign Ministry acknowledged that Xi had agreed to hold talks at the G20, saying that as the world’s two largest economies both countries needed to play leading roles in “injecting confidence and vitality into the global markets.”
Trump’s announcement of the impending meeting seemed to do just that, US stocks rose by about 1.4% afterward.
Economic relations between the US and China have reached new lows in recent months after trade talks between the two countries unexpectedly fell apart in early May.
Both Beijing and Washington blamed the other for the breakdown in negotiations. The Trump administration responded by increasing tariffs from 10% to 25% on an estimated $200 billion in Chinese imports. The Chinese government retaliated with tariffs on $60 billion of US exports and have been increasing scrutiny of exports of rare earths to US companies.
US businesses have been putting pressure on the Trump administration to back down on the Chinese tariffs, warning that they could damage the US economy and lead to job losses. More than 600 companies and industry trade associations, including Walmart, Costco and Target, wrote to the White House in June calling for an end to the trade war.
But so far the US President has shown no signs of backing down.
There have also been indications that the Chinese government is digging in for what could be a prolonged fight, despite signs of a slowing Chinese economy.
Beijing has been defiant in propaganda run in the country’s state-run media, both in papers and on television.
Prominent Chinese Communist Party journal Qiushi said in a commentary published this week that China was prepared to “fight it out till the end,” while an opinion piece in party mouthpiece People’s Daily said calls to compromise with the US were “stupid and naive.”
At the same time, anti-US war films set during the Korean War in the 1950s have been rebroadcast, while state broadcaster CCTV replayed an old documentary series on “The Great War to Resist the US and Aid North Korea.”
Ben Westcott reported from Hong Kong, Steven Jiang reported from Beijing and Kevin Liptak reported from Washington. CNN’s Betsy Klein contributed to this article.