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US China flags Reuters

China is still open to talks with the US to scale down the raging trade war, a top aide of President Xi Jinping has said, amid a marked drop in Chinese realty investments in the US.

Vice President Wang Qishan, the man widely believed to be behind Xi's economic reforms, has said, however, that his country will not again be "bullied and oppressed" by foreign powers.

Wang's remarks at an economic forum in Singapore comes amid indications that real estate investments in the US from Hong Kong and the Mainland slid to $4.42 billion in the first ten months of the year, compared to $6.81 billion the previous year.

Analysts attribute the slump to the uncertain trade climate arising from the continuing trade war between Beijing and Washington. They caution that the longer term impacts of a continued trade war are hard to forecast.

Chinese inquiries about US property in September also dropped 11.4 percent, higher than the 8.2 percent decline in the first half, a Chinese property website says.

Meanwhile, S&P Global Market Intelligence reports a softening of the US property market with sales of new and existing homes falling in September. In September, new single-family home sales slid 5.5 percent on month, and went down 13.2 percent on year.

In his Singapore speech, Wang said the trade was still the "anchor and propeller of China-US relations," and warned the US against "right-leaning populism" and "unilateralism," thought as a response to US President Donald Trump's nationalistic rhetoric.

"The Chinese side is ready for discussions with the US on matters of mutual concern and to work towards a solution acceptable to both," Wang said. "China will stay calm and sober and go for greater openness to attain mutual benefit and for a win-win result."

"We are facing the challenge of rising populism and unilateralism," Wang said. "Such changes have split countries and societies. The polarization right-leaning populism manifests in political demands, leading to unilateral policies against globalization and affecting the global political ecosystem."

Wang's statements are significant coming on the heels of Xi's own pledge at the opening of the Shanghai trade expo to open the country's markets.

The remarks of Xi and Wang are thought to be significant in the backdrop of the general atmosphere of uncertainty among global investors, who have been spooked by the trade war.

Trump has indicated that there could me trade talks with China soon and has asked cabinet officials to outline the terms of a possible deal, Chinese officials have not indicated readiness to meet major US demands. Forced technology transfer and support for state-owned enterprises are among the major disputes.