China appeared on Monday to push back on reports that it was having second thoughts about what President Donald Trump on Friday called “phase one” of a trade deal.
The editor of the Global Times, the mouthpiece for China’s ruling Communist Party, tweeted that the trade talks last week had “made breakthrough.”
Hu Xijin added that although the initial statements coming out of China had been “moderate” this should not be interpreted as a lack of enthusiasm for the deal.
Based on what I know, China-US trade talks made breakthrough last week and the two sides have the strong will to reach a final deal. Initial statement of the Chinese side is moderate. This is China's habit. It doesn't mean China's real attitude is not positive.
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) October 14, 2019
Bloomberg News had reported on Monday that China had not yet confirmed some of the specifics of the deal, including the plan for China to buy tens of billions of dollars worth of agricultural goods. Bloomberg News also reported that China also wants the U.S. to scrap a tariff hike scheduled for December.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday morning that he expected those tariffs would still be applied if the U.S. and China had not reached a final deal by then.
Bloomberg and CNBC both reported that China wants another round of talks before the “phase one” deal would be signed.
Traders on Wall Street took note of the seemingly different tones taken by the Trump administration and Chinese state media outlets. For example, initial reports in China noted “substantial progress” had been made but stopped short of calling it a “deal.”