China says trade talks with United States set foundation to resolve concerns

The US and its allies periodically send planes and warships near the Paracel Islands an area claimed by China

China Denounces ‘Provocation’ of U.S. Destroyer Sailing in South China Sea AFP7 Jan 2019

But the lack of details from both sides following the meetings highlights the uncertainty that remains, analysts say.

The two sides "held extensive, deep and thorough exchanges on trade and structural issues of common concern, which promoted mutual understanding and established a foundation for the resolution of each others' concerns", it said.

At a press conference on January 10, Commerce Ministry spokesperson Gao Feng said the talks had been "solemn, earnest, and candid", as reflected by the fact that the dialogue was extended by a day.

America is seeking assurances that China will buy more products from the U.S.in order to reduce the trade deficit, and it wants a fairer playing field for USA companies that do business inside China, NPR has reported. China responded by imposing penalties on $110 billion of American goods, slowing customs clearance for USA companies and suspending issuing licenses in finance and other businesses.

Trump has given U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer until March 1 to negotiate an accord with the Chinese on "structural changes" to Beijing's state-driven economic model.

As the scheduled trade talks extend to a third day, speculations are rife over China's intentions on coming down to an agreeable trade deal with the Trump administration.

The US imposed tariffs on more than $250bn (£195.6bn) worth of Chinese goods, with the threat of more to come.

The progress on trade negotiations follow a long back-and forth between the White House and Beijing.

Almost halfway into the 90-day truce, there have been few concrete details on any progress made.

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The discussions during the past two days "went well", according to Steven Winberg, an Energy Department official who spoke to reporters in Beijing.

China also restarted purchases of American soybeans last month, providing relief for a crop hit by Chinese retaliatory tariffs.

With seven weeks to go until a deadline that could see the USA ramp up tariffs on Chinese goods once again, the economic damage wrought by the months-long trade war is becoming clearer even as a pathway to a lasting resolution remains muddied.

U.S. Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney is chased by journalists as he walks into a hotel after a second day of meetings with Chinese officials in Beijing, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019.

Liu's appearance at the talks is a "symbol of Xi's personal buy-in" in the effort to reach a deal, said Leland Miller, chief executive officer of China Beige Book, a data-analytics firm that surveys companies across the Chinese economy.

The US China Business Council, which represents American companies working in China, applauded the "substantive discussions" but urged both sides to make tangible progress on achieving equal treatment of foreign companies in China and changes to policies aimed at technology transfer.

Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish is leading the American delegation in Beijing.

He had earlier warned that if a deal is not reached by March 1, the end of the 90-day grace period, the United States will increase the tariffs on the Dollars 200 billions of goods from 10 per cent to 25 per cent.

United States companies also want action on Chinese policies they complain improperly favor local companies.

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