After months of hostility, trade talks between US and China to resume

American media reports that a Chinese delegation headed by the Vice-Minister of Commerce will head to Washington for talks beginning Wednesday, Aug. 22

Trump meets Xi at the 2017 G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany

Trump meets Xi at the 2017 G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – On Aug. 16 Washington and Beijing both announced that mid-level trade talks would take place in D.C. over the coming week.

According to the report, Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen (王受文) will lead a nine person delegation to Washington for the talks this week, which are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 22-23.

The Under Secretary of the Treasury David Malpass will head the U.S. negotiating team.

The Wall Street Journal reports that these talks will be in preparation for two international summits in November, where U.S. President Donald Trump and Communist Party Chairman Xi Jinping are expected to meet.

The APEC Summit will be held in Papa New Guinea from Nov. 15-17, and later in the month the G20 Summit will be held Nov. 30 through Dec. 1 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Many are optimistic that the two sides are approaching an agreement, with speculation that terms for a resolution to the trade conflict could be reached before the end of November.

At the close of the stock trading session Friday, Aug. 17, there were some gains as investors welcomed the announcement optimistically, reports AP.

The new round of talks this week in Washington may signal a new willingness to negotiate on the part of Beijing, after removing Vice-Premier Liu He (劉鶴) as their chief negotiator.

The new talks also follow the Beidaihe leadership summit and retreat in China, where many speculate that Xi Jinping may have taken criticism from elder party members concerning his approach to the U.S. Trade War.

The mid-level talks this week will likely set the tone for bilateral relations for at least the next economic quarter, so analysts will be watching attentively.