Beijing contradicts Donald Trump’s claim of fresh talks
US President had said China made two ‘very, very good calls’ over the weekend
Donald Trump has claimed that the US and China will resume trade talks “very shortly”.
Following a weekend of heightening tensions and tit-for-tat tariffs with Beijing, the US president said: “China called last night... said let's get back to the table. So we'll be getting back to the table.”
Speaking at the G7 summit in Biarritz, he added that Chinese officials had made two “very, very good calls” and that Beijing wanted to “make a deal”.
However, China has not confirmed any talks and a foreign ministry representative said he was unaware of any such phone conversations.
The BBC points out that Trump “sent out conflicting messages over the weekend”, apparently expressing regret about the latest tariffs, “only for the White House to retract his comments”.
When the US president was confronted with Beijing’s denial of the calls, he insisted they taken place “last night, and before last night”.
CBS News says Trump added that the calls had been “numerous” and suggested that Beijing was keen to resume talks, as the pressure his administration was putting on China's economy meant “they've lost millions of jobs”.
On Friday, Trump had threatened to hike tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese imports in response to fresh duties from Beijing. The president said US tariffs on $250bn in Chinese imports would increase from 25% to 30% on 1 October.
CNN sums up the confused current position, saying that over a “rocky weekend,” Trump has “raised, dashed and then raised again hopes for an easing of his fast worsening trade war with China that is threatening the global economy”.