Trump speaks by phone with China's Xi on trade

Xi pledges support for private firms

For its part, Beijing has imposed tariffs on $110bn worth of USA goods.

TRUMP and Xi Jinping expressed optimism ahead of meeting later this month in Argentina, with the United States leader saying his Chinese counterpart wants to make a deal to end an escalating trade war.

Background: Trump and Xi are expected to meet at the G-20 summit on either November 30 or December 1.

"It is now clear what adjustments we should make and what we should adhere to", Lu said. "They very much want to make a deal".

Washington's demands included opening up China further to USA investments and abolishing the country's foreign-ownership caps.

The leaders of the world's two largest economies made the remarks after their first publicly disclosed telephone conversation in nearly six months.

The United States has already imposed tariffs on US$250 billion worth of Chinese goods, and China has responded with retaliatory duties on US$110 billion worth of USA goods.

The last round of trade talks with China ended in August with no concrete steps toward reaching a deal.

Communist leaders promised for the first time in 2013 to give market forces the "decisive role" in allocating resources, but reform advocates say they have focused on building up state industry while doing little for entrepreneurs.

A Chinese state-owned company was charged on Thursday with stealing technology from U.S. chipmaker Micron Technology Inc., part of a Justice Department crackdown against China in cases of suspected economic espionage.

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said China was probably Washington's biggest long term security challenge and the United States was engaged in a "multi-pronged effort.to convince China to behave like a normal nation on commerce " and respect worldwide law.

He described the phone call as very positive.

Trump sounded very optimistic about reaching a trade deal with China, or else, he warned, he was ready to impose a trade tariff of 25 per cent on another United States dollars 267 billion worth of Chinese products.

"China has been hurting us and trade deals have been hurting us", he said, adding that his administration is changing all those trade deals.

"The best possible outcome of the Xi-Trump meeting would be a suspension of imposing tariffs on each other, but the U.S. would continue its all-out blockade on China's technology development", said Shi Yinhong, a professor on worldwide relations at Renmin University and an adviser to Beijing. "Also had good discussion on North Korea", he tweeted.

Earlier on Thursday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told a group of visiting USA politicians that China and the United States could overcome their differences and get relations back on track if they worked together in a spirit of mutual respect.

Meeting a group of Republican senators and one congresswoman in Beijing, Li said that over the past four decades of diplomatic ties, the China-U.S. relationship has had its "share of ups and downs".

"We have the capability and the wisdom to overcome barriers and push China-U.S. relations back to a normal track - this isn't just beneficial for both countries, but also the world". While he said the delegation wished to discuss trade, he offered no specifics in opening remarks before reporters were ushered from the room.

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