Trade talks open in Beijing amid optimism about an end to US-China dispute

Before this week’s talks, China has been proactively making gestures to show it is serious about committing to reforms unlike in past rounds of negotiations, when it waited before talks ended to take action, said Jake Parker, vice president at the US-China Business Council. For example, in recent weeks China has released a new draft foreign investment law that bans Chinese companies from forcing foreign partners to hand over their technology secrets and prohibits governments from illegally “interfering” with foreign companies’ operations — practices that have long riled Western firms. China has also resumed purchases of US rice and soybeans as a gesture. “There are positive signals of what we’d like to see on the implementation side,” Parker said. “We’re cautiously optimistic.”