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Chinese, US chief trade negotiators agree to continue dialogue

This combined file photo shows Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, left, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. (Kyodo)

BEIJING (Kyodo) -- Chinese and U.S. chief trade negotiators have agreed over the phone to continue to communicate over trade issues, China's state-run media reported Tuesday, ahead of an expected summit between the world's two major powers.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He held telephone talks on Monday with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at the request of the United States, Xinhua News Agency said.

"The two sides exchanged opinions on economic and trade issues in line with the instructions made by the two heads of state," the news agency said, adding, "The two sides agreed to continue to maintain contact."

On Monday, Washington said U.S. President Donald Trump plans to hold bilateral talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the margins of a two-day Group of 20 summit starting Friday in Osaka.

A senior U.S. administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Trump's meeting with Xi is likely to take place on Saturday, with businesses and markets set to watch whether the two leaders can avoid a further escalation of the U.S.-China trade war.

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