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The talks were led by US Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross and Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He in Beijing.

Analysts had noted in recent weeks a seesawing of United States demands of China, that may reflect division among Trump's inner circle on whether reducing the trade deficit, demanding structural change to China's economy or addressing forced technology transfers was the priority.

The two sides issued a joint statement in Washington last month, vowing to strengthen economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.

"To implement the consensus reached in Washington, the two sides have had good communication in various areas such as agriculture and energy, and have made positive and concrete progress while relevant details are yet to be confirmed by both sides", the statement said.

Private sector analysts say Beijing may be willing to trim its trade surplus, but it will resist changes that might threaten its plans to transform China into a global technology competitor.

"The achievements reached by China and the United States should be based on the premise that the two sides should meet each other halfway and not fight a trade war", it added.

"That's a relationship with China that structurally has to change", he said.

China has warned that all trade talks between Beijing and Washington will be void if the USA sets up trade sanctions.




China has threatened to hit back with tit-for-tat tariffs on tens of billions of dollars in USA goods.

Only two days ago, on Friday, steel and aluminium tariffs were imposed on the EU, Canada and Mexico.

"The White House's tariff announcement on May 29 was just part of the negotiations for Wilbur Ross' visit to Beijing as they try to clinch deals that favour the U.S.", he said.

Earlier, Mnuchin had pointed to a rocky road ahead for the USA, which is now embroiled in trade disputes on two fronts, after talking about Washington's China policy.

Further trade frictions between the United States and China could also create difficulties for Vice Premier Liu He, a close ally of President Xi Jinping. But Chinese envoys promised after the last high-level meeting in Washington in mid-May to buy more American farm goods and energy products. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said then that the US tariffs were suspended and the trade war "on hold". The U.S. team also wants to secure greater intellectual property protection and an end to Chinese subsidies that have contributed to overproduction of steel and aluminium. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who announced the tariff truce with China, said at the G7 summit in Canada that the USA was pushing for "structural changes" to the Chinese economy.

"There are structural changes that allow our companies to compete fairly".

China's delegation included central bank governor Yi Gang, Commerce Minister Zhong Shan, and Ning Jizhe, a deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, a powerful planning body.

Trade analysts had warned Ross's hand might be weakened if the Trump administration alienated allies who share complaints about Chinese technology policy and a flood of low-cost steel, aluminum and other exports.


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