China’s foreign ministry says a phone conversation between President Xi Jinping and his American counterpart, Donald Trump, about trade and other issues was “extremely positive”.
The ministry said the two leaders agreed to “strengthen economic exchanges” but gave no indication whether they made any progress on settling an escalating tariff war over Beijing’s technology policy.
Mr Trump said earlier on Twitter that he and Mr Xi had a “very good” conversation.
A foreign ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, said: “I agree, this phone conversation was an extremely positive phone conversation.”
Mr Trump has imposed penalty tariffs of up to 25% on 250 billion US dollars (£191 billion) of Chinese goods in a dispute over Beijing’s plans for state-led development of technology industries.
Washington, Europe and other trading partners say those violate China’s market-opening obligations and some American officials worry they might erode US industrial leadership.
Mr Trump said he and Mr Xi plan to meet during a gathering of the Group of 20 major economies this month in Argentina.
“Both leaders attach great importance to China-US ties and economic ties,” Mr Lu said. “President Xi Jinping also stressed that China-US trade has long been serving as ballast and a stabiliser for China-US relations.”
The two leaders agreed the trade dispute “should be handled properly through substantial consultation”, Mr Lu said.