US trade representative Robert Lighthizer (left), US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He. Photo: AP

US demand that China commits to reforms in writing threatens to scupper trade talks

  • Washington refuses to accept verbal assurances but China is reluctant to make further structural reforms
  • Some government advisers in Beijing believe it would be better to accept higher tariffs than make ‘suicidal’ changes to country’s economic model
Topic |   US-China trade war

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US trade representative Robert Lighthizer (left), US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He. Photo: AP
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Amanda Lee

Amanda Lee

Beijing-based correspondent Amanda Lee covers markets and the economy for the Post, with an interest in China's economic and social landscape. A graduate of the London School of Economics, she joined the Post in 2017 and has previously worked for Thomson Reuters and Forbes.

Jane Cai

Jane Cai

Jane Cai, CFA, is the Beijing Bureau Chief of the South China Morning Post. She has been covering China's economic, financial, business and political news since the early 2000s.

William Zheng

William Zheng

William Zheng is a veteran journalist who has served and led major Hong Kong and Singapore media organizations in his 20-year career, covering greater China. He is now deputy China Editor of the South China Morning Post.