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Trump hails China trade talks progress and says he will meet Xi Jinping soon

Trump meets Chinese vice premier Liu He

Donald Trump has said he will meet Chinese president Xi Jinping soon to try to seal a comprehensive trade deal as the US president while China’s trade delegation said the two sides had “clarified a timetable and roadmap” for the next negotiations.

Trump, speaking at the White House on Thursday during a meeting with Chinese vice premier Liu He, said he was optimistic the world’s two largest economies could reach “the biggest deal ever made”.

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No specific plans for a meeting with Xi were announced, but Trump said there could be more than one meeting. US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin were invited to bring a negotiating team to Beijing in mid-February, with dates still pending.

At the end of two days of high-level talks next door to the White House, Liu told Trump China would make a new, immediate commitment to increase soybean purchases. An administration official later clarified the amount as a total of 5m tonnes, in effect doubling the amount bought by China since resuming limited purchases in December.

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