China on Monday said any US trade talks must be based on “mutual respect” and equality after President Donald Trump said there was a good chance of clinching a deal.

“We always believe that any differences between any two countries should of course be resolved through friendly negotiations and consultations,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a regular press briefing.

Trump said Monday said there was a “very good” chance of clinching a trade deal with China as the world’s top two economies clash over their trade relationship.

lu kang foreign ministry
Lu Kang, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson. File Photo: GovCN.

“I think sometime in the future, China and the US will have a great trade deal and we look forward to that,” Trump said after talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo.

His remarks came just two weeks after trade tensions reignited when Trump more than doubled tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese merchandise – sparking retaliation from Beijing – and threatened further levies that could affect nearly all of China’s remaining exports to the US.

“We have seen different statements being made about the Sino-US economic and trade consultations by [different entities] including high-level people in the US,” Lu said.

“Sometimes it is said that an agreement will be reached soon, and sometimes it is said it’s difficult to reach an agreement,” he said.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump. File photo: GovUS.

The spokesman said that China’s position has “remained consistent.”

“We have also always insisted on consultations between China and the United States, including economic and trade consultations, which must be based on mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit.”

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