Amid Confusion, China Commerce Ministry Says Trade Talks with US On

President Donald Trump had said on Tuesday that he would pull out of the trade deal with China.

The Chinese commerce ministry has said Beijing and Washington have agreed to hold trade talks "in the coming days" to evaluate the progress of their Phase 1 trade deal six months after it took effect in February.

The statement comes in the backdrop of U.S. President Donald Trump saying on Tuesday that would postpone trade talks with China. Speaking at an event in Yuma, Arizona, Trump said he will pull out of the trade deal with China. Representatives from the United States and China had been scheduled to discuss implementation of their so-called Phase 1 trade deal on Saturday, but those talks were canceled.

On Thursday, China's commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng said the talks will be on, but did not divulge more details.

U.S.-China trade deal
Twitter/Stephanie Grisham

The deal, reached on Jan. 15, and seen as a major breakthrough after a two-year long trade dispute between the world's two largest economies, set ambitious targets for China to sharply boost purchases of U.S. farm and manufactured goods.

But ties quickly soured in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic and China's imposition of a new national security law in Hong Kong.

Threats and Sanctions

Both sides traded threats and sanctions on individuals and businesses, such as Chinese video platform TikTok.

Official data also suggests China's imports of U.S. farm and manufactured goods, energy and services are well behind the pace needed to meet a first-year target increase of $77 billion over 2017 purchases.

China's purchases have increased as its economy recovers from this year's coronavirus lockdown, however.

On Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters he had postponed an Aug. 15 review of the trade pact, in frustration over Beijing's handling of the virus pandemic.

(With Reuters Inputs)