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By Wanxia Lin
     BEIJING (MNI) - Vice Premier Liu He, China's lead negotiator in trade talks
with the U.S., will visit Washington Jan 13-15 to sign the 'phase one' deal,
Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said Thursday. 
     - China will "to the extent necessary" use its grain import quotas of
wheat, corn and rice under its WTO obligation, in accordance with market
conditions, said Gao, when asked if China will reduce imports from other
countries or raise quotas to meet U.S. demand to boost agricultural purchases.
"This doesn't contradict with expanding imports of U.S. agricultural goods,"
said Gao. 
     - Gao implied that imports of rice, wheat and corn (though not their
by-products) may still be subject to quota limits and China won't forgo cheaper
sources for the sake of meeting U.S. demand. 
     - China's annual quotas are 9.64 million metric tons wheat, 7.2 million
tons for corn and 5.32 million tons for rice. In reality, China each year only
allows less than half of these quotas to be used, a point that the U.S. had
previously railed against in a WTO dispute.
     - The U.S. should amend its position over the use of export controls citing
national security, helping create favourable trade conditions, Gao said when
asked to comment on U.S. restrictions on AI software exports. 
--MNI Beijing Bureau; +86 (10) 8532-5998; email: wanxia.lin@marketnews.com
--MNI Beijing Bureau; +86 10 8532 5998; email: william.bi@mni-news.com
[TOPICS: M$A$$$,M$Q$$$,MT$$$$,MGQ$$$]