China Says It Doesn’t Know About U.S. Plans for Beijing Trade Talks



Lin Zhu | Wall Street Journal

BEIJING—China’s Commerce Ministry denied knowing about U.S. plans to resume trade talks, deflecting remarks by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that American officials are likely to travel to Beijing soon for negotiations.

Mr. Mnuchin told a Senate committee Wednesday that the U.S. team is “likely to go to Beijing at some point in the near future.” The comments offered prospects for a return to talks after both sides spent the better part of a week trading recriminations over perceived backsliding in positions that left the negotiations at an impasse.

Asked by reporters about Mr. Mnuchin’s comments, Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said Thursday that “the Chinese side doesn’t have a grasp on the U.S. side’s plans to come to China for negotiations.” Mr. Gao then said the U.S.’s escalation of tariffs “severely hampered” consultations.

[To read the original article, click here.]