Beijing - Chinese President Xi Jinping said that Beijing is actively working on a partial trade deal with the United States on the "basis of mutual respect and equality," financial news service Bloomberg reported on Friday.
In his first reported comments since both sides negotiated a "phase one" agreement in October, Xi said "we did not initiate this trade war and this is not something we want."
"When necessary, we will fight back, but we have been working actively to try not to have a trade war", he said.
The Chinese president was meeting former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, other international visitors and participants in a economic forum organized by the Bloomberg Media Group in the Chinese capital.
His comments followed US President Donald Trump saying earlier this week that China was not "stepping up to the level that I want" in the trade talks.