Dec 03, 2018 08:12 PM

Charts of the Day: Beijing and Washington Frame Trade War Talks Differently

The Trump-Xi meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit over the weekend has brought a temporary trade truce between the world’s two largest economies. While Beijing and Washington both called the meeting “highly successful,” the two governments have described the results quite differently in their respective statements.

To provide you with a more nuanced understanding of the Sunday meeting and the progress of trade talks, Caixin has put together a side-by-side comparison of the two statements, as well as the joint statement released in May following Vice Premier Liu He’s round of negotiations with U.S. Trade Representative ‎Robert Lighthizer‎ in Washington.


Graphic: Gao Baiyu/Caixin

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasized the two sides’ consensus to work towards dismantling tariffs. However, it did not mention the 90-day deadline to reach a trade deal set by the Trump administration.

In terms of increasing Chinese imports to help address America’s trade imbalances, the two countries did not differ much from the pledges made in May. Back then, China had promised to increase agricultural and energy transports from the U.S.

Although this time around, the U.S. was more specific and direct, saying that China has agreed to purchase a “very substantial amount” of agricultural, energy, industrial and other products from the U.S. Beijing did not gave any hint in its statement of how substantial the purchases will be.


Graphic: Gao Baiyu/Caixin

As for the upcoming negotiations on the two sides’ structural differences, the U.S. side has now pointed out specific areas that are expected to be discussed. Such areas include “forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft, services and agriculture.”

Contact reporter Charlotte Yang (

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