VP Harris meets with China’s Xi in bid to ‘keep lines open’ on US trade talks
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker said Wednesday he had met with President Donald Trump’s envoy for China, calling the meeting “productive and constructive.”
When asked for elaboration, Corker said: “We’re trying to keep the lines open. We’re trying to figure out how we can do that.”
He did not say whether he had suggested that the two sides look for ways of resolving their differences and avoid the risk of a new trade war. He said he had “spoke with the Chinese ambassador and he was willing to meet with us.”
Corker, R-Tenn., said the Trump administration was willing to continue discussions with Beijing, despite the trade war, after talks with his staff led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin failed to reach an agreement.
“This is a complicated and challenging meeting and we were working through some areas,” Corker said.
It was the first opportunity since Trump’s surprise election win to meet his new Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, a senior White House official said. The Chinese delegation was led by Foreign Minister Wang Yi and included a number of ministers and prominent members of the Chinese leadership.
Trump’s team has said the Chinese were invited to the White House for a discussion about trade but did not respond to the invitation. Corker indicated that the meeting was productive.
“I think it was productive and constructive,” Corker said.
Trump on Monday said he had invited Xi to the White House before he met with a bipartisan congressional delegation that arrived in Washington on Tuesday to protest the escalating tit-for-tat trade war.
In his first meeting with Trump on Tuesday, the two leaders discussed “trade issues and the economy,” and Trump told Xi that his meeting with Corker was productive and that he had a �