Donald Trump, the US president, said he would press ahead with plans to sign a limited trade truce with Xi Jinping, his Chinese counterpart, at a new venue after Chile scrapped next month’s summit of Asia-Pacific leaders.
“China and the USA are working on selecting a new site for signing of Phase One of Trade Agreement, about 60% of total deal, after APEC in Chile was canceled do to unrelated circumstances,” Mr Trump wrote in a tweet on Thursday morning.
“The new location will be announced soon. President Xi and President Trump will do signing!,” he added.
US and Chinese officials were left scrambling after Chile was forced to back away from hosting the annual meeting of APEC leaders on November 16-17, which they had targeted for the signing ceremony. Chile made the decision this week after mass protests and civil unrest broke out amid discontent with inequality.
Although Mr Trump touted the interim deal being discussed with China as covering 60 per cent of a more comprehensive pact, it will fail to address some of the biggest sources of strain in the US-China relationship, from cybertheft to industrial subsidies, where Beijing has resisted any concessions.
Instead, China will agree to big purchases of US farm goods and make some modest pledges on intellectual property and currency, people familiar with the talks have said.