Trade war, day 119: Trump has ‘good conversation’ with Xi, then issues another technology theft indictment


At 10:09 a.m. this morning, Donald Trump tweeted:

Just had a long and very good conversation with President Xi Jinping of China. We talked about many subjects, with a heavy emphasis on Trade. Those discussions are moving along nicely with meetings being scheduled at the G-20 in Argentina. Also had good discussion on North Korea!

  • The call was confirmed by Chinese state media — the Xinhua readout of the call is here (in Chinese). CCTV quoted Xi as saying that “China and the US have precedents of resolving difficult trade and economic issues through dialogue. The economic teams of both sides must step up communication and coordination on issues of their concern to put forward a proposal acceptable to both sides,” SCMP reports.
  • Also sounding a conciliatory note was Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who said that “nothing is set in stone right now…if some kind of amicable deal with China were to happen, then a lot of tariffs might be pulled back.”
  • Then a few hours later at 1:30 p.m., the Justice Department unveiled another indictment against China for technology theft. This one (press release; full indictment) directly accused the Taiwanese company UMC and Chinese company Fujian Jinhua of conspiring to steal dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) technology from the Boise, Idaho-based Micron Technology.
  • Two days ago, the U.S. Commerce Department issued an export ban on Fujian Jinhua.
  • Just yesterday, the Justice Department indicted 10 Chinese nationals, including two intelligence officials and six hackers, for stealing American and European aerospace technology secrets.
  • American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says that the clearly “multi-pronged” effort of the U.S. to pressure China aims to “convince China to behave like a normal nation on commerce.”

More trade war and U.S.-China relations news:

Previously in SupChina’s trade war coverage:

Trade war, day 118: Chinese manufacturing slows more than expected