Chinese delegation invited to US for trade talks prep

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/9/17 12:34:30 Last Updated: 2019/9/17 18:48:17

Photo: GT

Chinese Vice Finance Minister Liao Min is set to lead a delegation to the US on Wednesday to prepare with the US side ahead of the 13th round of bilateral trade talks, set for October. Analysts following the development of the trade war say that Liao heading the delegation could bring fresh air to the trade talks.

Upon the invitation from the US side, Liao Min, deputy director of the Office of the Central Commission for Financial and Economic Affairs and vice finance minister, plans to lead a delegation to visit the US on Wednesday for trade consultations, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday.

The visit will pave the way for the 13th round of high-level economic and trade consultations between China and the US in October in Washington.

The Office of the Central Commission for Financial and Economic Affairs is in charge of drawing up China's economic plans, and Vice Premier Liu He is the director. 

Liao, formerly a veteran banking regulator, has expertise in international economic affairs, according to media reports.

Given his post, Liao Min will have a stronger hand in coordinating different departments and ministries involved in the trade talks, Gao Lingyun, an expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

"The trade talks between China and US are far more complex than negotiation on any specific issue," Gao said. "The delegation will need to have strong coordination among different departments to lay the groundwork and settle finer details for the talks in October."

A Beijing-based business affairs commentator surnamed Li told the Global Times on Tuesday that while the vice commerce minister headed the high level talks during previous preparatory meetings that led to formal trade talks, the change to the vice finance minister could underline hopes to inject some fresh air into the meetings. 

He Weiwen, an executive council member of the China Society for World Trade Organization Studies, said that Liao's appointment as the delegation head could signal the preparatory meeting will be focused on tariff issues rather than trade policies, as the Finance Ministry is in charge of tariffs.

On Thursday last week, spokesperson at the Ministry of Commerce Gao Feng hinted at a regular press conference that a face-to-face working meeting will be held soon to fully prepare for high-level trade talks.

The trade war between China and the US, which has endured for over a year, showed signs of thawing last week. 

China announced an initial list of US products to be exempted from its retaliatory tariffs. The US delayed additional tariffs on Chinese goods due to be levied from October 1.

The meeting is expected to build up the positive trend in the run up to a potential meeting of top leaders from both countries at the APEC meeting in November, said Liang Haiming, dean of the Belt and Road Institute at Hainan University, who follows the China-US trade talks closely.


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