onsdag 29. mai 2019

Was this the moment US-China trade talks fell apart?

On April 30, Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He made an unusual request of his American guests Robert Lighthizer and Steven Mnuchin, who were in Beijing for pivotal talks to end the costly trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

Liu, President Xi Jinping’s trusted economic lieutenant, wanted to have a quiet word with the two senior American officials in private. The three broke away from the rest of the negotiation teams. Accompanied only by a Chinese interpreter, they entered a small room at the meeting venue and stayed inside for nearly an hour. When they emerged, they did not give any briefings or instructions to their aides. But their expressions were stern and gloomy, according to a person who was present. A sense of foreboding permeated the meeting hall, but nobody dared to ask why.