US and China to hold trade talks in Beijing next week

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A US delegation will visit China next week for talks aimed at defusing the trade war between the world's two largest economies.

The closely watched meeting follows a dismal week for US markets, with losses fuelled partly by trade fears.

Last year, China and the US imposed tariffs on more than $300bn (£237bn) worth of each other's goods.

It will be the first face-to-face meeting since the two countries agreed not to impose new tariffs for 90 days.

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to the temporary truce on 1 December on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina.

On its website, China's commerce ministry said the goal of the upcoming talks, to be held in Beijing on 7 and 8 January, will be "implementing the important consensus" reached by the two leaders.

The US team will be led by Deputy Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish, the ministry said.

Economic jitters

President Trump initiated the trade war over complaints of unfair Chinese trading practices.

He campaigned on a pledge to make trade fairer for the US and to help American manufacturers.

The battle has disrupted businesses and stoked fears about the impact on the global economy.

Data this week pointed to signs of strain in the US and China at the end of last year.

US factory activity slowed more than expected in December, according to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).

Chinese data on Monday showed its manufacturing activity contracted for the first time in more than two years.

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