Zhong Shan. (Xinhua/Wang Yu/IANS). Image Source: IANS News

Beijing, March 5 : China-US economic and trade consultations demand joint efforts by both sides, Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan said on Tuesday.

"In the economic and trade talks, both sides should make joint efforts to implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries," Zhong said at a "passage interview" for ministers after the opening meeting of the second session of the 13th National People's Congress, China's national legislature.

The consultations followed the principle of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, which were agreed by the leaders of both sides, he was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.

The 90 days of consultations achieved important progress, with breakthroughs made in some fields, which should be cherished, Zhong said.

US President Donald Trump had last month expressed optimism about the prospects for a trade agreement with China after he delayed a scheduled increase in tariffs on Chinese imports.

Trump said he was delaying an increase from 10 per cent to 25 per cent in the tariffs his administration levied earlier on roughly $200 million in Chinese products. The hike was set to take effect from March 1.

He added that plans were underway for a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping where he expected to formalize a trade pact.

The US sold $130 billion in goods and services to China in 2017, while US imports from the Asian giant totalled $506 billion.

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