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China calls on US to meet it 'halfway' on trade

Beijing on Wednesday called on Washington to meet it "halfway” in negotiations to end a protracted trade war after President TrumpDonald TrumpHead of firms that pushed 'Italygate' theory falsely claimed VA mansion was her home: report Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting VA moving to cover gender affirmation surgery through department health care MORE said he had to “take China on.” 

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang expressed hope to reporters that Washington can “get along with us” and restore “mutually beneficial” trade, according to The Associated Press

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“We hope the United States will meet China halfway,” added Geng, adding that Beijing wanted to “work out a resolution that is acceptable to both sides on the basis of mutual respect and equal treatment.”

Washington and Beijing are currently embroiled in a burgeoning trade dispute that has led to tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of goods. Negotiations last month in Shanghai proved fruitless, though another round of talks is planned in Washington next month. 

One sticking point in negotiations is the status of the tariffs, which China says must be lifted upon the implementation of any agreement. The U.S., however, demands that some stay in place to pressure Beijing to live up to any commitments it makes. 

The ongoing trade war has fueled fears that the U.S. economy is heading toward a recession, though Trump has shown no signs of backing down. 

“I am doing this whether it’s good or bad for your statement about, ‘Oh, will we fall into a recession for two months?’ The fact is, somebody had to take China on,” Trump told reporters Tuesday.

“Whether it’s good for our country or bad for our country, short term, it had to be done,” he added. “Someone had to take on what China was doing to the United States economically.” 

Markets were rattled earlier this month when Trump declared plans to put a 10 percent tax on an additional $300 billion worth of Chinese imports starting in September, though the president decided to delay some of the levies after swift backlash, saying he did not want to cause economic concerns during the holiday season.