Top US and Chinese negotiators spoke on the phone Tuesday and agreed to push forward their phases one economic deal, amid soaring tensions between the two sides on several fonts. In January, the two countries have signed an accord, bringing a partial truce in their lingering trade war and obliging Beijing to import an additional $200 billion in American products over two years, ranging from cars to machinery and oil to farm products.
The Covid-19 pandemic has put pressure on the agreement and China’s purchases of those goods has been lagging. The two countries has confirmed the talks in separate statements.
The phase one deal called for officials to hold a check-in every six months. Beijing said, “constructive dialogue between the two sides had agreed to create conditions and atmosphere to continue to push forward the implementations of phase one of the China-US economic and trade agreement.
The tensions have risen between the two countries over a host of issues including blame for the pandemic and China’s policies in Xinjiang and Hong Kong.
The Trump administration has given ByteDance a deadline to divest TikTok before the app is banned in the US, arguing TikTok could be used by China to track the locations of federal employees, build dossiers on people for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage.
The company says it has never provided any US user data to the Chinese government, and Beijing has blasted Trump’s crackdown as political.
US President Donald Trump in recent weeks has stepped up his rhetoric against China ahead of what is expected to be a tough re-election fight, raising questions about the deal’s fate as well as the possibility of phase two agreement.