President Donald Trump has said the US and China will “very shortly” resume trade talks after a weekend of escalating tension with Beijing.

“China called last night… said let’s get back to the table. So we’ll be getting back to the table,” he said.

On Friday Mr Trump sharply hiked tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese imports in retaliation for fresh duties from Beijing.

China has yet to comment but earlier called for “calm” to resolve the row.

Mr Trump sent out conflicting messages over the weekend, at first appearing to express regret about the latest tariffs, only for the White House to retract his comments on Sunday.

However, at the G7 summit in Biarritz on Monday he said Chinese officials had made two “very, very good calls” on Sunday night and that Beijing wanted to “make a deal”.

Suggesting his pressure had brought the Chinese back to the negotiating table, he added: “They hurt very badly, but they understand this is the right thing to do.

“We’re going to start very shortly to negotiate… but I think we’re going to make a deal.”

The US is trying to force Beijing to reform its trade practices, arguing that American firms face an uneven playing field due to issues such as intellectual property theft.

However, US allies have pressured Mr Trump at the G7 summit in France, warning that the trade war is threatening the global economy.

Earlier on Monday Asian stock markets fell sharply over concerns about the trade war, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index losing more than 3% before regaining ground.

However, European shares turned positive after Mr Trump’s more conciliatory comments.

A short while ago Germany’s Dax was up 0.2% while the French Cac 40 was 0.6% higher. London’s FTSE 100 is closed for Bank Holiday Monday.

Source:bbc.com

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