China offers concessions to avert trade war with US: FT

It is not altogether surprising that Trump has tempered his anti-China talk once in office, but there is a considerable distance between his earlier rants on China "raping" the U.S. with its trade policy and the new cordial tone.

This initiative bought China more time to work through this vexing problem.

China's biggest export category to the USA and other countries is electronic products including cell phones and computers, according to UBS.

The president signed two other executive orders about reviewing USA trade deficits and enforcing rules against dumping. This move is seen as the first salvo against what Washington sees as unfair Chinese trade practices.

The 100-day plan could be a good thing or it could be nothing.

If the Trump administration takes action, they should publicly announce what they are doing and their measures of success. In other words, Mr Trump is eager to remind the world that the USA will walk the talk. USA officials are using tough language: North Korea "must be stopped", said Defense Secretary James Mattis.

China-US trade is highly complementary and has mutual benefits, China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said on Saturday, adding that bilateral trade follows the rule of economic globalization and reveals the structural difference and internal demands of both nations.

A USA missile attack on a Syrian airbase Thursday night escalated tensions between the US and Russian Federation. This point would not be lost on Beijing, which would have to tread carefully between propping up a regime that has for all practical purposes become increasingly less amenable to taking "advice" from Beijing and convincing Washington against taking any military action. News in China about the meeting is overwhelmingly positive, with state media outlet Xinhua covering the summit (in Chinese) with pictures of the two men strolling together, discussing "amicable cooperation between the two countries".

But the Chinese side could not have missed the significance of the American missile strike on a Syrian base at the time their President was dining with his American counterpart. Chinese media could portray Xi as an equal with Trump, and the Chinese leader got a boost to his stature and popularity at home. The good chemistry between the two leaders will set the tone for ministers and officials in resolving outstanding issues.

Traders and investors around the world experienced a turbulent Friday last week, with the Syria missile attack, non-farm payrolls and the "Trump-Xi summit" dominating the agenda and triggering a series of knock-on reactions between currencies, commodities and stocks.

Overall, the friendly optics from the summit will be well received in the region. In addition, it out forward its position on the South China Sea issue.

So, as Tillerson noted, 'President Trump noted the challenges caused by Chinese government intervention in its economy and raised serious concerns about the impact of China's industrial, agricultural, technology and cyber policies on United States jobs and exports'.

It wasn't hard to imagine a refused handshake or the presentation of a bill for payment, like the one Trump reportedly gave visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel (a report denied by the White House).

  • Zachary Reyes