Geng Shuang gave no details at a daily briefing, but there are hopes the planned encounter at the G-20 summit in Japan will help lower the temperature in the trade war between the world's two largest economies.
As part of preparations, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer spoke by phone Monday with the top Chinese negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He. "We certainly hope that the meeting will help the two states to promote mutual trust, resolve their differences, and resolve some of the outstanding issues we are facing now," Geng said.
China remains "committed to working with the U.S. to develop China-U.S. relations based on coordination and cooperation," Geng said. The meeting in Osaka is the first opportunity for the two leaders to discuss the trade dispute face-to-face since Trump said he was ready to target the $300 billion in Chinese imports that he hasn't already hit with tariffs, extending them to everything China ships to the United States.
Trump has already imposed 25% tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports and China has retaliated with tariffs on U.S. goods. The sides are at an impasse after 11 rounds of talks that have failed to overcome U.S. concerns over China's acquisition of American technology and its massive trade surplus.