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China Waives Some Tariff Increases on U.S. Soybeans, Pork

China announces it will dismiss some punitive tariffs targeting American soybean and pork products, as Washington and Beijing continue trade negotiations.

The Chinese Finance Ministry made those remarks on Friday, as both sides continue talks to finalize the first phase of the pending bilateral trade deal.

The announcement follows one made back in September when officials originally promised the tariff exemption, but did not specify at the time when it would take place.

The news comes one day after the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson pushed for reductions in tariffs upon completion of phase one saying, ““The Chinese side believes that if the two sides reach a phase one deal, tariffs should be lowered accordingly.”

Trade talks reman ongoing between Washington and Beijing, just weeks after a signing was expected to take place at the APEC summit in Chile before it was canceled over widespread civil unrest across the nation.

Meanwhile, China has warned the U.S. against passing legislation which would mandate a hardline stance on the Chinese crackdown of the country’s Uighur Muslim minority.

A Chinese official issued that warning on Wednesday saying, “We urge the US to immediately correct its mistake, to stop the above bill on Xinjiang from becoming law, to stop using Xinjiang as a way to interfere in China’s domestic affairs.”

The House passed the Uighur Act of 2019 on Tuesday in a 407 to 1 vote, although it still would need to pass through the upper chamber before it arrives on the president’s desk for a signature.

If signed into law, the bill would justify sanctions against a Chinese official and condemnation of China’s treatment of more than one million Muslims, which are currently held in “camps” in Xinjiang.

American lawmakers have called these holding centers concentration camps, while China has suggested they “re-education” centers aimed at combatting terrorism.

Tension between Washington and Beijing has also mounted after President Trump signed bipartisan legislation into law which supports the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong.

China announced retaliation over the law earlier this week, saying it will no longer allow U.S. military ships and aircraft to visit Hong Kong.

Beijing announced it would also sanction various American-based NGO’s while suggesting the United States has “some [degree of] responsibility for the chaos in Hong Kong.”

President Trump signed the Human Rights and Democracy Act into law last week, mandating a special review annually to evaluate the special trading status Hong Kong currently has under American law.

The law also provides justification for sanctions targeting anyone who seeks to undermine the widespread pro-democracy demonstrations, and also prohibits the United States from exporting tear gas, pepper spray, water cannons, and other materials to Hong Kong.

Protests first erupted months ago in Hong Kong over an extradition bill, which has since been taken off the table but spurred widespread calls for democratic reform.