12:57 GMT06 May 2021
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    US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have started their highly-anticipated meeting on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Japan's Osaka, amid the ongoing trade row between the two countries.

    US President Donald Trump said during meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping that Washington wants to even up trade with China, get "closer".

    He has also said that Washington was open for a fair trade agreement with Beijing, saying that reaching the deal would be historic.

    "Something happened where it said slipped a little bit and now we are getting closer [to reaching a deal]. But it would be historic if we could do a fair trade deal. We are totally open to it and you are totally open to it," Trump said at the beginning of his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Japan's Osaka.

    "We've had excellent relationship, but we want to do something that will even it up with respect to trade. I think this is something that is actually very easy to do," Trump said.

    The US president continued by suggesting that his meeting with Xi would be "very productive", adding that Washington and Beijing could do something that would be "monumental and great for both countries."

    Meanwhile, Chinese leader Xi Jinping said that both the United States and China benefit from cooperation, while confrontation harms them.

    "One basic fact remains unchanged. China and the United States both benefit from cooperation and lose in a confrontation. Cooperation and dialogue are better than friction and confrontation," Xi said at the meeting, held during the G20 summit in Japan's Osaka.

    The Chinese president noted that he was prepared to exchange views with Trump on the fundamental issues concerning the development of China-US relations in order to "set the direction for our relationship in the period to come and to advance the China-US relationship based on the coordination, cooperation and stability."

    The trade dispute between the US and China has been going on since 2018, after Trump’s decision last June to impose 25 per cent tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods in a bid to address the trade deficit. Since then, the two sides have exchanged several rounds of duties.

    The US escalated the dispute in May when it included another $200 billion worth of Chinese goods in the 25 per cent tariff category. China pledged to retaliate by hiking tariffs on $60 billion worth of US imports in June.

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