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Asian shares have surged on reports that Donald Trump wants to reach an agreement with Chinese president Xi Jinping about the trade dispute that has dogged markets for months.

The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on $250bn of trade with China this year and has threatened to hit all imports from China, which were worth $505bn last year.

Trump said he and Xi plan to meet during a gathering of the Group of 20 major economies this month in Argentina. "We talked about many subjects, with a heavy emphasis on Trade", Mr Trump tweeted.

"The economic teams of the two countries should strengthen contact, conduct consultations on issues of mutual concern, and push for a mutually acceptable solution to China-US economic and trade issues", Xi said.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, center, announces the creation of a new initiative to crack down on Chinese intelligence officials pilfering intellectual property from US corporations during a press conference in Washington, Nov. 1, 2018.

"I hope that China and the USA will meet each other halfway and will appropriately handle their differences with mutual respect and equal cooperation", stated the Chinese premier.

Asian stocks rose sharply on Friday on hopes of a trade deal between the United States and China.

One person said a sticking point in any potential deal is intellectual property theft, where the Trump administration has sought to take a hard line. "And let's see what happens", Trump said at a White House event.

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Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander told the official the US and China are competitors not adversaries and suggested they can prosper together.

Stock markets in Europe and Asia rallied this morning after a phone call between President Trump and President Xi raised hopes of a thaw in trade tensions.

Trump said that in early October China wanted to come in and make a deal, but he told them they weren't ready.

The two countries have been locked in an escalating trade battle, with each side imposing tariffs on billions of dollars worth of imports from each side.

Meeting a group of Republican lawmakers in Beijing, China's Li noted the China-US relationship's "ups and downs" over the past four decades of diplomatic ties.

US Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee told Li that the delegation was there "to show our respect to a great country and a great people", and that the two countries "are competitors but not adversaries".

The United States has already imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods, with duties on $200 billion of the total set to increase to 25 percent from 10 percent on January 1, 2019.


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