Beijing said on Thursday it had bought a “considerable” amount of US pork and soya beans, the latest sign of appeasement between the two sides in the drawn-out trade war.

“Recently Chinese enterprises have … started price inquiry and purchases of US agricultural products, and have also completed a transaction of soya beans and pork of considerable size with the US,” said commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng at a regular press briefing.

Gao said “China’s market demand for high quality agricultural products is very large” and that he hoped the two sides could “create beneficial conditions for cooperation.”

China is also facing a severe shortage of pork – a staple food in the country – because of an outbreak of African swine fever.

American farmers have borne the brunt of the US-China trade spat, especially after US soya exports collapsed last year.

President Donald Trump has previously accused Beijing of backsliding on promises to increase purchases of US farm goods and has offered billions in aid to farms badly damaged in the trade war.

China’s conciliatory move to exempt pork and soya beans followed an unexpected announcement from Trump that he would postpone an October 15 tariff increase on Chinese products representing US$250 billion in annual imports.

Tensions between the two have ebbed and flowed since then, with Trump criticising Beijing in a speech at the United Nations this week over its trade policy and approach to pro-democracy unrest in Hong Kong.

The US president declared in his speech that the time of Beijing’s “abuses” of the system was “over”. (AFP)