domestic demand is holding up well, good news for policymakers looking to soften the blow from any trade shocks.

Customs data showed that exports jumped 21.5 percent from a year earlier in April, bouncing back from a contraction the previous month thanks to resurgent global demand.

In the first four months of the year, China's surplus with the USA totalled USD80.4 billion, a 13% increase over the same period last year.

Watch video 01:24  China pledges to open markets
Watch video 01:24 China pledges to open markets

"The core of the U.S. position is that China become a genuine market economy on an expedited schedule and that the United States reserves the right to be judge and jury in determining compliance", Scott Kennedy, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, wrote in a commentary about the talks.

Trump directed Trade Representative Lighthizer in early April to look at the potential of imposing $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports.

The visit by Vice-Premier Liu He - considered President Xi Jinping's right-hand man on economic issues - comes after he led talks in Beijing last week with a high-level USA delegation. China's top economic official will visit Washington next week to resume trade talks with the Trump administration, the White House said on Monday.


The Trump administration has drawn a hard line, demanding a US$200 billion (S$268 billion) cut in the Chinese trade surplus with the USA, sharply lower tariffs and advanced technology subsidies.

The negotiations could head off the threatened U.S. tariffs targeting $150bn in imports, while China has warned $50bn in goods are in the line of fire.

Trade discussions between China and the USA have intensified as Trump has targeted the trade imbalance between the two countries and insufficient intellectual property protections in China. Last year's surplus totaled $375 billion.


China's imports from the United States climbed 11.6 percent between January and April, which however wasn't enough to offset a 13.9-percent rise in exports to that country.

Consequently, the trade surplus totalled USD28.8 billion in April, above the expected level of USD27.75 billion.


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