China's Xi says Beijing wants trade deal, can 'fight back'


Last updated 12/1/2019 at 12:17am

In this June 29, 2019, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump poses for a photo with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, western Japan. Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said Beijing is working to resolve conflicts with Washington over trade, dismissing speculation the talks might be in trouble as unreliable "rumors." Trump had said he hoped to sign a preliminary agreement with Xi by this month. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Elaine Kurtenbach

AP Business Writer

President Xi Jinping said Friday that Beijing wants to work for a trade deal with the United States but is not afraid to "fight back" to protect its own interests.

Echoing the upbeat tone adopted by other Chinese officials in recent days, Xi told a visiting U.S. business delegation that China holds a "positive attitude" about the trade talks.

"As we always said we don't want to start the trade war, but we are not afraid," Xi said. "When necessary, we will fight back but we have been working actively to try not to have a trade war."

Later Friday, Preside...

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