China, U.S. sign phase-one trade deal

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, who is also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chief of the Chinese side of the China-U.S. comprehensive economic dialogue, show the signed China-U.S. phase-one economic and trade agreement.

The US on January 15 signed the first phase of a trade deal with China, which President Donald Trump described as historic, concluding more than a year of tough negotiations including several months of suspension of talks between the two largest economies of the world.

The first phase of the trade deal includes Intellectual Property (IP) Protection and Enforcement, ending forced technology transfer, dramatic expansion of American agriculture, removing barriers to American financial services, ending currency manipulation, rebalancing the US-China trade relationship and effective dispute resolution.

The agreement was signed by President Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, Politburo Member and Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China.

In his remarks, Trump called the trade agreement signing "a momentous step...to a future of fair and reciprocal trade."

The two countries are "writing the wrongs of the past," the US President said, adding that he would soon visit China and thanked his Chinese counterpart for this deal.

"I'll be going over to China in the not-too-distant future to reciprocate," he said.

This is a transformative deal that will bring great benefits for the two countries, Trump said, hoping that this will even lead to a peaceful world.

Trump said that China has made substantial and enforceable commitment to protecting American ideas.

At the same time, he said, punitive tariffs on China would remain in place till the time the second phase of the trade deal is agreed.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, in his letter to Trump which was read out at the signing ceremony in the White House, said the phase one deal was good for China and the US and it needed to be earnestly implemented by both sides.

In an apparent reference to Trump's crackdown on China's telecom giant Huawei, Xi hoped that Chinese companies will be treated fairly by the US.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu said China and the US, the world's two largest economies and two major players in international affairs with great responsibilities, reached the phase one deal "with the big picture in mind" and by "acknowledging and properly managing" their differences.

China will work with the United States on the principle of equality and mutual respect to ensure good implementation of their phase-one economic and trade agreement, he said.

He added that the deal is not in conflict with the legitimate rights and interests of any third party, and is also in accordance with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

Calling economic and trade cooperation "the propeller of the overall bilateral relationship", Liu noted the two countries have encountered some difficulties in economic and trade areas over the past two years.

"There have been several setbacks in negotiations, but we were not overwhelmed by difficulties," Liu said.

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