China trade talks conclude on optimistic note in Beijing

Delegations from China and the US ended talks that had lasted longer than expected. — Reuters pic

President Donald Trump is said to be eager to strike a deal soon to perk up financial markets that have slumped on concerns over a trade war between the nations.

-China trade talks in Beijing are progressing well, as Chinese authorities planned to give a statement following the latest round of negotiations. -China talks raised hopes of easing trade tensions between the two superpowers, while OPEC-led crude output cuts also provided support.

That suggests the dispute on the issue, which has sparked a government shutdown since late December and already caused some delays in the release of key United States economic data, is nowhere near a resolution.

The statement came as trade talks between China and the United States were under way in Beijing, the first round of face-to-face discussions since both sides agreed to a 90-day truce in a trade war that has roiled worldwide markets.

Asked about the timing of the operation during trade talks, Lu said resolving issues would help both countries and the world.

Some analysts say that China - Pyongyang's key diplomatic ally and main source of trade - could use Kim's visit as a bargaining chip in the USA trade talks.

The one-day extension "indicates that both sides were very serious about these negotiations", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a briefing on Wednesday.

Tu Xinquan, a Chinese trade expert at Beijing's University of International Business and Economics, told Reuters before talks began that the meetings would likely focus on technical issues and leave major disagreements to more senior officials.

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He and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed December 1 to postpone more tariff hikes on each other's goods for 90 days while they negotiate.

Washington wants Beijing to change plans for government-led creation of Chinese leaders in robotics and other advanced technologies. Trump argued for funding on security and humanitarian grounds as he sought to put pressure on newly empowered Democrats.

Ted McKinney, the Undersecretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, said the negotiations "went just fine", and that they "had been a good one for us".

Washington, Europe and other trading partners complain Beijing's tactics violate its market-opening obligations. American leaders also worry they might erode U.S. industrial leadership. They complain China's companies are treated unfairly in national security reviews of proposed corporate acquisitions, though nearly all deals are approved unchanged.

Trump imposed import tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods previous year and has threatened more to pressure Beijing to change its practices on issues ranging from industrial subsidies to intellectual property to hacking.

He added that a good outcome would "not only benefit China and the USA, it would also be good news for the world economy".

Chinese exports to the United States held up despite the tariff hikes, but that was due partly to exporters rushing to fill orders before any more increases hit.

The US economy grew at an annual rate of 3.4 percent in the third quarter but surveys show consumer confidence weakening.

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