Published: Fri, November 02, 2018
Finance | By Cynthia Curry

China Premier Li Keqiang is optimistic on US-China relations

China Premier Li Keqiang is optimistic on US-China relations

The telephone conversation on Thursday was Trump and Xi's first publicly disclosed call in six months.

Xi said Thursday after speaking with Trump that he hopes China and the United States will be able to promote a steady and healthy relationship, Chinese state media reported.

Xi on Thursday said he looks forward to meeting with Trump at the G20 in Argentina, according to China's state media.

Trump made no mention of whether the two leaders talked about the US indictment unveiled Thursday of two companies based in China and Taiwan accusing them of stealing trade secrets from a USA semiconductor company, Micron Technology Inc.

On Thursday, the USA accused a Chinese state-owned company of conspiring to steal trade secrets of U.S. chipmaker Micron Technology part of a Justice Department crackdown against China in cases of suspected economic espionage.

Li's comments come at a time of rising tensions between Beijing and Washington caused by a trade war and strategic tussling in the South China Sea.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to retaliate.

Officials are working to resolve differences ahead of upcoming talks between President Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

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Speaking at a meeting with a group of visiting United States congressmen led by Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Premier Li Keqiang said he hoped the two sides "will meet each other halfway and work together in the spirit of mutual respect and equality". "We talked about many subjects, with a heavy emphasis on Trade", Mr Trump tweeted.

A Justice Department indictment targeted two companies based in China and Taiwan and three individuals, saying they conspired to steal trade secrets from U.S. semiconductor company Micron Technology Inc.

The two countries have been locked in an escalating trade battle, with each side imposing tariffs on billions of dollars worth of imports from each side.

"We do hope that China and the United States will meet each other halfway and work together in the spirit of mutual respect and equality", Li told Trump's fellow Republicans.

Alexander was quoted as telling Li that the two countries were "competitors but not adversaries" and that their mutual interests outweighed their conflicts.

"China has been hurt over the last number of months".

The news agency said it was not clear if Trump was easing up on demands that China has resisted, and it cited one person as saying intellectual property theft was a sticking point on a possible deal.

"I'm not going to make a prediction I do think part of the uncertainty in stocks is about the election", Kudlow said.

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