The People’s Daily – the official newspaper of the ruling Communist party – said talks this past week made important progress, striking a fresh tone of optimism ahead of more discussions in Washington in the coming days.
European markets have enjoyed a strong week as optimism of a resolution buoyed investors across the world.
Reports emerged that US President Donald Trump was willing to push back his March 1 deadline to impose further tariffs on Chinese imports.
On Friday, President Xi Jinping said the discussions between a US delegation and Chinese representatives produced ‘step-by-step’ progress.
But the talks concluded without an official statement from either of the world’s two largest economies, slowing some of the momentum gained by markets.
US tariffs on $200bn worth of imports from China are set to rise to 25 percent from 10 percent unless a deal is struck by March 1 – if Trump does not extend the deadline.
The Chinese newspaper boosted hopes of a resolution in a commentary piece overnight.
It said: ‘It is hoped that the two sides will maintain the good momentum of the current consultations and strive to reach an agreement within the set time limit.’
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An editorial in the Global Times, which is published by the People’s Daily, said news that China had consulted on the text of a memorandum of understanding ‘shows the two sides have made unprecedented progress.’
‘The MOU and next week’s talks both show that the seemingly endless China-U.S. trade negotiations, like a marathon, are making a final sprint,’ it said.
But a China Daily article provided some caution to the tricky negotiations ahead.
It said: ‘There are still obstacles to be overcome, and no one should underestimate how daunting a task the two sides face trying to resolve all the differences that have long existed between them in one clean sweep.’