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US-China tensions

China and US commerce chiefs agree to push trade, Beijing says

Both sides stress value of business exchange and open communication

The world's two biggest economies remain at loggerheads on many issues but officials from both countries are trying to resolve differences.   © Reuters

SHANGHAI (Reuters) -- Top U.S. and Chinese commerce officials spoke by telephone and agreed to promote healthy trade and cooperate over differences, China's commerce ministry said on Thursday, the latest high-level exchange as the countries spar over disagreements.

Both sides recognise the importance of business exchanges and will keep lines of communication open, the Chinese statement said after Commerce Minister Wang Wentao spoke with U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

"They agreed to promote the healthy development of trade and investment and cooperate in a pragmatic way to handle their differences," the Chinese ministry said.

Earlier this month, Chinese Vice Premier Liu spoke with U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and late last month he held a similarly "candid" exchange of views with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai.

The world's two biggest economies are at loggerheads on a variety of fronts, with the U.S. Senate this week approving a sweeping package of legislation intended to boost the country's ability to compete with Chinese technology, drawing strong criticism from Beijing.

On Wednesday, however, President Joe Biden withdrew a series of Trump-era executive orders that sought to ban new downloads of the popular Chinese-owned WeChat and TikTok, and ordered a Commerce Department review of security concerns posed by those apps and others.

In a Thursday editorial, official China Daily saying in an editorial that the U.S. technology legislation is "really deployment for Cold War."

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