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China says Xi-Trump phone call ‘extremely positive’

Published: Updated:

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 Friday 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.

Trump said earlier on Twitter that he and Xi had a “very good” conversation.

A foreign ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, said, “I agree, this phone conversation was an extremely positive phone conversation.”

The Trump administration on Monday took action to cut off a Chinese state-backed semiconductor maker from US exports of components, software and technology goods.

The United States and China have slapped tit-for-tat tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of each other’s goods over the past few months, sparked by US President Donald Trump’s demands for sweeping changes to China’s intellectual property, industrial subsidy and trade policies.

Trump has frequently accused China of cheapening its currency to gain a trade advantage, claims Beijing has consistently rejected.