The costly trade conflict between the US and China began in 2018 after Washington slapped tariffs on $25 billion worth of Chinese goods, quickly escalating to include hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of products from both countries. The two sides began talks to try to end the dispute in mid-2019.

US President Donald Trump has announced plans to visit China soon.

"I want to thank President Xi [Jinping], who is watching as we speak, and I'll be going over to China in the not to distant future to reciprocate, but I want to thank President Xi, a very, very good friend of mine," Trump said, speaking Wednesday while  presiding over the signing of the so-called 'Phase One' trade deal with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.

"This is a very important and remarkable occasion," Trump said, speaking before Chinese and senior US officials including Vice President Mike Pence, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, among others.

The deal is seen as a much-hoped for first step in ending the trade war between the two economic superpowers, which has led to billions of dollars in economic losses by both countries, and led to a spike in concerns about slowed global growth.