Stories by Bill Bishop of Sinocism

Trade war update: U.S. and China hold talks in Beijing

Guests at an event celebrating the anniversary of U.S.-China diplomatic relationship this week in Beijing. Photo: Mark Schiefelbein/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and China held deputy-level trade talks in Beijing earlier this week. The discussions lasted one day longer than planned and both sides issued vague but mildly positive official statements about the discussions.

My thought bubble: The Chinese do need to make a deal, both because the trade conflict is exacerbating underlying problems in their economy and also because I hear Xi is quite concerned about the possibility of U.S. decoupling from China, especially in technology.

Reading the China trade talk tea leaves

Host refills Xi Jinping's tea

Another round of face-to-face US-China trade talks is expected in mid-January.

What I'm hearing: China's top economic policymaker Liu He may be coming to D.C. for the January discussions. So far the Chinese side has not offered any detailed concessions that come close to meeting the expectations out of the Trump-Xi meeting in Argentina but that may change now that the Central Economic Work Conference (CEWC) has set the economic priorities for 2019.

China commits to juicing its economy in 2019

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

China's annual Central Economic Work Conference (CEWC) that sets the overall direction for the next year's economic policies just concluded in Beijing.

Why it matters: The signals from this meeting suggest, among other things, increased efforts to stimulate the economy and work out a trade deal with the U.S.

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