Beijing Cannot Confirm Meeting Between VP Wang, Trump on WEF Sidelines

© AP Photo / Markus SchreiberPeople walk through a corridor on the opening day of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018
People walk through a corridor on the opening day of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018 - Sputnik International
BEIJING (Sputnik) - The Chinese Foreign Ministry currently does not have any information regarding a possible meeting between US President Donald Trump and Wang Qishan, the Chinese vice president on the sidelines of WEF, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Monday.

"Speaking about the possible meeting between Vice President Wang Qishan and President Trump, I do not have any information about it", Lu said at a briefing.

Chinese workers assemble electronic components at the Taiwanese technology giant Foxconn's factory in Shenzhen, in the southern Guangzhou province (File) - Sputnik International
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The official was referring to media reports published last week, that claimed Wang and Trump might discuss bilateral relations between the two countries within the framework of the WEF, slated to take place on 22-25 January in the Swiss city of Davos. Wang, who will lead the Chinese delegation at WEF, is expected to visit Switzerland on 21-24 January.

The news comes amid ongoing US-Chinese talks on trade and economic issues that officially began in Beijing earlier on Monday.

Commenting on the negotiations, Lu expressed hope that the dispute would be settled on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

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"According to the consensus reached between the two countries, the Chinese-US trade and economic negotiations have officially started [in Beijing] … The Chinese side sincerely hopes for the settlement of trade tensions between the two countries on the basis of mutual respect and equality", he stressed.

In the meantime US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross also addressed the meeting, emphasizing that the most important part of the negotiations was the question of compliance.

"I think they [the talks] are at the appropriate level," Ross told CNBC. "What will come out of it is the resolution: are we going to go the negotiated route or are we going to go in the original direction of higher tariffs."

Ties between the United States and China remain strained after a series of tit-for-tat import tariffs took place last year.

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