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Economics

Wary of Trump’s Flip-Flops, China Prepares for Worst on Trade

  • Trump’s tactics further deepen the distrust, analyst says
  • Xi lacks wiggle room as hardliners around him feel emboldened
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China Prepares for Worst on Trade
Updated on

Perhaps nobody was more surprised to hear that China had called President Donald Trump’s administration to restart trade talks than the government in Beijing itself.

After a weekend of confusing signals, Trump’s credibility has become a key obstacle for China to reach a lasting deal with the U.S., according to Chinese officials familiar with the talks who asked not to be identified. Only a few negotiators in Beijing see a deal as actually possible ahead of the 2020 U.S. election, they said, in part because it’s dangerous for any official to advise President Xi Jinping to sign a deal that Trump may eventually break.