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Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He sets date to go to Washington for trade talks

07/5 2019 10:00

Chinese Ministry of Commerce confirms two-day trip from Thursday

Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He will go to the United States on Thursday to continue trade negotiations, the Ministry of Commerce said on Tuesday.

The trip, scheduled for two days, is shorter than expected. The South China Morning Post reported about the trip on Monday.

The trip comes as uncertainty is facing the negotiations after US President Donald Trump announced he would increase punitive tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese products from 10 per cent to 25 per cent.

It also comes amid Chinese state media reports that Beijing will not response to Trump’s threats with concessions.

In a commentary published on its WeChat account on Tuesday, People’s Daily warned the US to “not even think about” concessions.

“Things that are unfavourable to us, no matter how you ask, we will not take any step back. Do not even think about it,” the commentary said.

The article was first published through Taoran Notes, a social media account used by Beijing to signal the leadership’s thinking and manage domestic expectations.

It is the first official Chinese opinion piece since Trump went on Twitter to announce plans to more than double the tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods because trade talks were going on “too slowly” for his liking.

Until Trump’s escalation, Washington had described the talks as “constructive”, adding they were close to a deal in the yearlong war .