'very strong signals' that China is ready for a trade deal

November exports rose 5.4 percent from a year earlier, Chinese customs data showed on Saturday, the weakest performance since a 3 percent contraction in March.

This year, China's overall export growth has been stronger than expected in nearly every month.

Asked to confirm whether Beijing promised to buy American goods immediately, Gao said China will "immediately implement the consensus reached by the two sides on farm products, cars and energy".

On December 6, the U.S. reported that its trade deficit in October jumped to a 10-year high, and that the deficit with China that last month surged 7.1 percent to a record $43.1 billion.

China has indicated that it is confident it can strike a lasting trade deal with the United States.

Import growth was 3 per cent, the slowest since October 2016, and a fraction of the 14.5 per cent seen in the poll.

But Trump again sought to paint the talks in a more positive light, highlighting a report from Bloomberg that "Chinese officials have begun preparing to restart imports of U.S. Soybeans & Liquified Natural Gas" that were put on hold as a result of the president's initial tariffs.

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U.S. President Donald Trump, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser John Bolton and Chinese President Xi Jinping at a working dinner after the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires on December 1, 2018. November's China numbers might add a sense of urgency. Imports of iron ore fell for a second time, reflecting waning restocking demand at steel-mills as profit margins narrow.

On Thursday and again on Friday, Trump tweeted that talks with China are going well.

China's overall trade - what it buys and sells with all countries, including the U.S. - logged a United States dollars 44.7 billion surplus in November, up from USD 35 billion the previous month, the data showed. Despite those new tariffs, the trade gap with China also widened in October, increasing by $700 million to $38.2 billion.

Also, the Chinese yuan has weakened more than 5 percent against the dollar so far this year, helping to make Chinese products more competitive overseas.

The U.S. global trade deficit in goods and services increased to $55.5 billion in October from $54.6 billion in September, according to Census Bureau data. "Typically there is a six-month lag between the value of industrial export orders and currency movements".

Chinese policymakers are expected to offer more policy support and deliver more support measures if domestic and external conditions continue to deteriorate.

The government aims for growth of around 6.5 per cent this year, compared with 2017's 6.9 per cent pace.

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