United States president Donald Trump said trade negotiations with China were back on track after excellent talks on Saturday with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in which Washington reportedly agreed to hold off on new tariffs.
The crunch talks on the damaging trade war between the world's top two economies came on the sidelines of a meeting of the G20 in Japan's Osaka, with all eyes on whether the pair would agree on a truce.
We had a very good meeting with President Xi of China, Trump said after the talks. I would say excellent.
We are right back on track, he added without confirming any details of any agreement.
China's Xinhua state news agency reported that Xi told Trump that he hopes the United States can treat Chinese companies fairly.
The Chinese president said that on issues of sovereignty and respect, China must safeguard its core interests, Xinhua reported.
Both sides were expected to issue official formal statements later, but Chinese state media said Washington had committed not to impose any new tariffs on Beijing's exports and that the two sides had agreed to restart trade and economic talks.
The outcome was likely to be seen as a win, with experts cautioning ahead of the meeting that a full agreement was unlikely but a truce that avoided a new tit-for-tat round of tariffs would be positive.
Trump has struck a conciliatory tone since his arrival in Japan for the G20 summit, despite saying China's economy was going down the tubes before he set out for Osaka, and appeared keen to reach an agreement.
He said he was ready for a historic deal with China as the leaders kicked off their meeting and Xi told him that dialogue was better than confrontation.
Economists say that a lengthy trade war could be crippling for the global economy at a time when headwinds including increased geopolitical tensions and Brexit are blowing hard.
Trump has dominated the headlines from the summit, and once again caught observers by surprise by tweeting early Saturday that he was open to meeting North Korea's Kim Jong Un while in South Korea this weekend.
”If Chairman Kim of North Korea sees this, I would meet him at the Border/DMZ just to shake his hand and say Hello(?)!” he wrote.