Washington, Dec 2: The trade negotiations between United States and China were stalled due to the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump, sources close to the matter said.
There is little certainty as to when the much-anticipated “phase one” of the US-China trade negotiations will be sealed as time is needed to allow Chinese domestic politics to calm, the source told news website Axios. The document which Trump signed on Thursday introduced amendments to existing US policy on Hong Kong allowing Washington to impose sanctions on officials deemed responsible for human rights abuses in the special administrative region, Sputnik reported. Another part of the legislation prohibits the US from exporting certain police equipment to Hong Kong.
China condemned the legislation at once, with Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang labeling the move as double-standards and interference in China's internal affairs. In October, Trump announced that both sides had reached a "substantial phase one deal," which was expected to be finalized in the near future. However, after the APEC Summit in mid-November was canceled in Chile, where Trump was supposed to be meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping to sign the trade deal, both sides appeared to be struggling to finalize the new "phase one" trade deal.
The world’s two leading economies have been engaged in a trade war for over a year over what Trump deemed unfair economic conditions and noncompetitive behavior from China. China has denied such claims, saying that the trade row is not beneficial to the either side and the world economy. The standoff translated into tit-for-tat hiking of tariffs in imported goods between the countries.