United States destroyer sails in disputed South China Sea amid trade talks

Senior US officials were in Beijing today for the first face-to-face negotiations since Trump agreed to a 90-day cease fire with China's leader Xi Jinping on December 1.

U.S. -China trade talks opened Monday in Beijing, with negotiators for the world's two biggest economies trying to resolve tariff disputes that have roiled world markets in recent weeks.

Economic data show the Chinese economy has suffered since Trump a year ago slapped stinging tariffs on more than US$250 billion in Chinese imports. China has retaliated with tariffs of its own.

Asked about the timing of the operation during trade talks, Lu said resolving issues would help both countries and the world. Over the weekend, President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House that negotiations were going "very well" and investors are keen to see what comes next. "I think the two sides need some kind of agreement for now", Tu said.

On Friday, Beijing cut bank reserve requirements amid slowing growth at home and pressure from the US tariffs.

The Beijing talks follow small signs of progress - and the absence of new threats from Trump - while the two sides work to ease trade tensions by March 1.

United States negotiators on Monday headed into talks with Chinese counterparts as the two countries seek a deal to end a trade war that has raised fears of global economic turmoil.

The president has taken heart in China's faltering economy, repeating that it makes Beijing more likely to strike a deal.

China claims nearly all of the strategic waters and frequently lambastes the United States and its allies for freedom of navigation naval operations near Chinese-occupied islands.

USA and Chinese officials expressed optimism before the two day talks, but Beijing at the same time complained about the sighting of the U.S.S. McCampbell destroyer in what it said were Chinese waters near disputed islands in the South China Sea.

U.S. commerce secretary Wilbur Ross predicted that the United States and Chinaare likely to reach a trade deal, as officials from both nations met for face-to-face talks in Beijingon Monday (New York time).

Wang is expected to lead China's team to the annual forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Beijing suspended extra tariffs on US-made cars and auto parts for three months, while a major state grain stockpiler made purchases of American soybeans.

Speaking at a conference on China organized by the Swiss bank UBS, former Goldman executive Fred Hu said that China not only could not but should not dismantle its economic system in favor of a market-based economy, according to Bloomberg. The economy needs certainty. The incident could have caused a collision, US officials said at a time.

For their part, Chinese officials are unhappy with US curbs on exports of "dual use" technology with possible military applications. Chinese data last week showed its manufacturing activity contracted for the first time in more than two years.

The reason? Prasad said the Trump administration views Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as being too soft against China.

  • Eleanor Harrison