China has welcomed a pledge from Donald Trump to help save one of the country's biggest telecoms companies ZTE.
According to multiple news reports, US President Donald Trump confirmed that he is working with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to give China's telecom giant ZTE a way to get back into business.
Early this month, ZTE had urged the Trump administration to give a stay on its order that banned it from acquiring American companies. "President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast," Trump said in a tweet.
While welcoming the US President’s comment and terming it “positive’, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said, "We greatly appreciate the positive position of the US on the ZTE issue and are in close communication with the US on the details of the issue."
Industry analysts have indicated that the tone of the tweet is a dramatic shift for the US President, who had consistently accused China of stealing US jobs. However, Washington insiders indicate that during the last trade talks held earlier this month in the Chinese capital, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He had warned the high level US delegation, that China would not continue talks on bilateral trade disputes unless Washington agreed to ease tough sanctions that crippled ZTE. Beijing made resolving the ZTE crisis, a prerequisite for striking a broader trade agreement with the U.S. they said.
The widening trade dispute between the world's two biggest economies has affected both sides and it is in the interest of both the world's two biggest economies to come to a consensus. “The President’s tweet underscores the importance of a free, fair, balanced, and mutually beneficial economic, trade and investment relationship between the United States and China," said White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters in a statement.
The concession granted by Trump to the communist nation, comes therefore unsurprisingly ahead of the trade talks scheduled to be held later this week in Washington. It is however not clear what the US president is proposing for ZTE.
Meanwhile, the Chinese telecom giant did not respond to requests for comment.