China Says It Has Not Promised to Cut Trade Surplus After US's Denial of ZTE Deal

China has never promised to cut its trade surplus with the US by a certain amount, said Commerce Ministry spokesperson Gao Feng today at a weekly news briefing.

Gao added that China hopes the US can implement measures promised during the recent trade talks as soon as possible.

The comments from China came after Trump said on Tuesday US time that the country has not reached a deal with China to save ZTE.

This announcement from Trump contradicted a Wall Street Journal report indicating that he had a tentative agreement with China to help save ZTE now facing a seven-year sanction from buying components and services from American firms.

However, Trump also said moments later he may seek a fine of up to US$1.3 billion and changes in management at ZTE, which are parts of the reported tentative deal.

China hopes to work closer with South Korea, Japan, Germany in trade

While the trade standoff with US continues, China’s commerce ministry said today that the country hopes to work with Japan and South Korea to reach a mutually beneficial free trade agreement as soon as possible.

According to the ministry, China and South Korea will complete the second phase of their free trade agreement negotiations as soon as possible to boost trade.

China is also looking to work closer with Germany. “There’s huge potential for cooperation between China and Germany,” said Premier Li Keqiang today at a joint press briefing in Beijing with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “China has always supported a unified and prosperous Europe and that both countries uphold free trade.”

China’s Ministry of Commerce on the same day pointed out the country has good potential to cooperate with Germany in areas such as artificial intelligence, driverless cars, new-energy cars, and digitalization.