Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said China and the United States could overcome their differences and put relations on the right track if they worked together in mutual respect.
China's Prime Minister Li Keqiang (R) shakes hands with Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander during a meeting with a group of US Senators and Congress members at the Zhongnanhai leadership complex in Beijing, China, November 1, 2018. REUTERS / Jason Lee / Pool
China and the United States are in an increasingly bitter trade war, in which both countries have already raised tariffs on some of the imports.
When he met a group of Republican senators and a congressman in Beijing, Li said that the China-US has had diplomatic relations over the past four decades. Relationship has had its "share of ups and downs".
"The solid and stable growth of China-USA. Relationships serve the common interests and fundamental interests of the people of our two countries, "Li said.
"We hope that China and the United States will meet halfway and work together in a spirit of mutual respect and equality," he added.
"In this way, our two countries will be able to overcome differences and have the wisdom to overcome the obstacles and advance our relationship on an even more solid track."
Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee told Li that the delegation was there "to show our respect to a great country and a great people."
"Your country and our country are competitors, but no opponents. And we believe that we can continue to succeed together with mutual respect. "
Alexander said he would discuss the deal with Li, although none of them mentioned the ongoing customs war in comments to reporters.
US President Donald Trump has long threatened to impose tariffs on all goods imports worth more than $ 500 billion if Beijing complies with its calls for sweeping changes in its policies on intellectual property, technology transfer, industrial subsidies and local market access does not comply.
But Trump has not "pinned down" decisions on raising tariffs on Chinese goods and may withdraw some tariffs if there are promising political talks with China, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Wednesday.
Both Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to attend and begin talks at the end of the month of the G20 summit in Argentina.
Trump said in a television interview on Monday that he will be "doing a very good deal" with China, but warned that he would have billions of dollars worth of new tariffs if business was not possible.
The United States has already imposed tariffs on Chinese goods worth $ 250 billion, and China has responded with retaliatory tariffs on $ 110 billion of US goods.
Reporting by Joseph Campbell; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore