As the United States and China save over trade, both sides are using a beleagured Chinese telecom company as a pawn in a geopolitical game, a strategy that could yield concessions in Washington this week.
Mr. Trump's offer to throw a lifeline to the company, ZTE, found a receptive audience in Beijing on Monday, a development that could help with thorny issues like trade and North Korea. Liu He, a Chinese vice premier, what due in Washington for negotiations beginning on Tuesday aimed at resolving the simmering trade conflict between the two countries. It was not clear whether or not they were welcome, but Chinese officials welcomed Mr. Trump's tweet on Sunday saying he would look for ways to help ZTE.
side to the issue of the ZTE Corporation, and are maintaining close communication with the U.S. on the implementation of specific details, "Lu Kang, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a daily briefing Monday afternoon.
Hu Xijin, the chief editor of the Global Times, a newspaper owned by the Chinese Communist Party Weibo to add, "No matter if the previous sanction was a card in Washington's concerted move for a trade was on China, the newest decision is a good one."
The United States government threatened the continued existence of ZTE as a business last month, when the Commerce Department ordered a seven-year halt in American shipments of computer microchips and software that lie at the heart of most of ZTE's gear.
The Commerce Department's Bureau ZTE of violating American sanctions by selling to Iran and North Korea and then covering the exports and rewarding the executives involved.
ZTE, a 75,000-employee business that makes smartphones and cellphone tower equipment, began shutting down operations last week after being unable to find alternative suppliers.
Mr. Trump did not say anything on Sunday what, if anything, the United States could return for its offer to help ZTE. China has a lot to offer in the United States.
In any case, China has much to offer the United States in exchange for a reprieve for ZTE.
Experts said, for example, that China could eliminate its new restrictions on imports of grain, meat, and other agricultural commodities Trump imposed in March. Mr. Trump's call for a reconsideration of the penalties on ZTE could well be the way to make it through the chip maker Qualcomm to buy NXP Semiconductors of the Netherlands.
While antimonopoly reviews are not officially linked to the other issues, Qualcomm has become the main supplier to ZTE.
Mr. Trump's move could have helped Korea's economic next year in Singapore with the North Korean Leader, Kim Jong-un – Mr. Xi has made significant economic contributions to North Korea's economic dependence on China.
Still, defending ZTE in a dispute involving Chinese exports to North Korea has been politically awkward for Beijing. Chinese officials believe they have been successful in enforcing international sanctions against North Korea, said one senior Chinese government advocates for anonymity because of political sensitives.
Beijing did not try to defend the company's ties to Iran or North Korea. ZTE (19459008) Shut down. ZTE (19459008) Shut down
"I want to reiterate, Global Times and I stand firmly on the side of ZTE, no matter in the past or currently," Mr. Hu told his 4.8 million Weibo followers on Monday
If Mr. Trump's strikes on ZTE and agricultural trade, Mr. Trump's threat to impose tariffs on $ 150 billion of Chinese goods. The White House has said it wants to make its limits on its $ 300 billion industrial policy to build up its advanced manufacturing industries.
But ZTE makes it a bargaining tool.  The Bureau of Industry and Security, the agency that enforces United States export controls, usually operates out of trade disputes and politics. Three experts on export controls said on Monday that it was unusual for a president to do second-guess, which usually functions with little coordination with other agencies and with virtually no involvement by political leaders.
"B.I.S. William Reinsch, who ran the bureau as secretary of commerce for former President Bill Clinton and is now a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
Permanent bans have therefore mostly fallen on very small companies, not multinationals as big and as dependent on American components as ZTE. Mr. Trump – tough talk on.
Chinese experts, however, said the dueling messages from Mr. Trump – tough talk on
"Trump's approach to dealing with China," said Shi Yinhong, a special consortium in China.
"Some consolation and even a hug after imposing great pressure Professor at Renmin University.
Follow Keith Bradsher on Twitter: @KeithBradsher .
Jane Perlez contributed reporting. Ailin Tang contributed research.