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Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and US President Donald Trump attend a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Photo: Reuters

Xi Jinping, Donald Trump oversee signing of US$253 billion in trade deals

Long list of agreements ranges from shale gas to car parts and includes China Petroleum and Chemical’s US$43 billion Alaskan natural gas exploration contract

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump witnessed the signing of deals worth US$253 billion on Thursday, making the US head of state’s visit to China one of the most fruitful for Chinese and US businesses in terms of the value of agreements struck.

It also showed Beijing’s efforts to narrow its trade surplus with the United States and soothe Trump’s complaints about the two nations’ unbalanced trading relationship.

“The US really has to change its policy because we have gotten so far behind in trade with China and frankly with other countries,” Trump said in opening remarks broadcast live by state-run media. “We’ll make it fair.”

Among a long list of agreements ranging from shale gas to car parts, China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, the state energy group, signed a US$43 billion deal to jointly explore for natural gas with the US in Alaska. China’s sovereign wealth fund, China Investment Corp, will offer financial support. Bank of China, a Chinese state-owned bank, will help with finance, too.

Another state energy giant, China National Petroleum Corp, signed an initial agreement with Cheniere Energy over a “long-term supply contract” of liquefied natural gas.

Chinese phone makers Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivo will sign deals to buy products from US telecom mobile chip maker Qualcomm. US tech firm Broadcom made a US$105 billion takeover bid for Qualcomm earlier this month.

China’s Silk Road Fund, a unit under the People’s Bank of China to promote the Belt and Road international trade initiative, will set up a joint fund with the US.

China Investment Corp is to set up a joint fund with Goldman Sachs.

Other deals include Chinese purchases of planes from Boeing and imports of Tesla cars into China.

China’s customs administration released figures on Tuesday showing a trade surplus of US$26.6 billion with the US in October alone.