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Xi Jinping says ‘phase one’ trade deal benefits both US and China, seeks to sign as soon as possible

Chinese President Xi Jinping

Aris Messinis | Pool | Reuters

Chinese leader Xi Jinping said on Friday the “phase one” trade deal is beneficial to both China and the U.S., according to state-run media agency Xinhua.

“The first-phase economic and trade agreement reached between the U.S. and China is a good thing for the U.S., China, and the entire world,” Xi said. “Both the U.S. and Chinese markets and the world have responded very positively to this. The U.S. is willing to maintain close communication with China and strive to sign and implement it as soon as possible.”

Xi acknowledged a phone call he had on Friday with President Donald Trump regarding the trade agreement. Trump said earlier Friday that they had a “very good talk,” that China has started “large scale” purchases of U.S. agricultural products and a formal deal signing is being arranged.

The Xinhua report didn’t mention any detail in the limited trade deal. The two countries announced last week that they had agreed on the text of the agreement that includes some tariff relief and increased agricultural buying.

Xi expressed “serious concerns” over the U.S.’ recent involvement in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet, saying these practices “interfered with China’s internal affairs, harmed China’s interests, and were not conducive to mutual trust and cooperation.”

In October, the White House blacklisted a slew of Chinese companies due to alleged human rights violations against Muslim minorities in Xinjiang. Trump also recently signed two bills supporting the Hong Kong protesters into law despite Beijing’s objections.

Xi said he’s willing to continue to keep in touch with Trump to “exchange views on bilateral relations and international issues, and jointly advance China-U.S. relations based on coordination, cooperation, and stability,” according to Xinhua.

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