China vice premier to visit United States for trade talks

China's trade surplus with the US actually grew in April despite Trump's tough talk

"China's top economic advisor, the vice premier, will be coming here next week to continue the discussions with the president's economic team", said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Monday.

The country's surplus with the US expanded to $22.19B - compared with a surplus of $15.43B in March.

The figures Tuesday will likely reinforce Washington's determination after high-level talks in Beijing last week ended with both sides admitting there were big differences to overcome, with threats of tariffs on billions of dollars of goods casting a shadow.

"It is a positive signal", ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters.

The NBS said exports grew by 12.9% in USA dollar terms, recovering from a 2.7% drop in the year to March which was partially driven by Lunar New Year holiday effects.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He was involved in the Beijing-based trade talks with the USA trade delegation.

Liu, the leader of the Chinese negotiating team, has been a key architect of China's economic policy under Xi.

China's imports from the USA climbed 11.6 percent between January and April, which however wasn't enough to offset a 13.9-percent rise in exports to that country. "We think it shows the United States side's willingness to reach a consensus with China on economic and trade issues", China's ministry of foreign affairs spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a news briefing.

That leaves the nation's politically sensitive month-to-month trade surplus with the remaining part of the world at £28.8 billion, a turnaround from the previous month's $5 billion billion shortage.

The widening surplus "reflects the difficulty of closing the trade gap between the two countries in the near term, but it is unlikely to obstruct the constructive progress made recently" in negotiations between Washington and Beijing, ANZ Bank's senior China economist, Betty Wang, said in a research note.

Import growth also breezed past expectations, jumping by 21.5% from 12 months earlier.

Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on as much as $150 billion in Chinese goods, duties that can be imposed after a public comment period ends May 22.

China has vowed to take retaliatory action of the same scale.

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