Asian stocks lifted by U.S.-China trade talk hopes

Containers are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai China

Containers are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai China

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, a member of the U.S. trade delegation to China, leaves a hotel in Beijing, China February 13, 2019.

The US has said it will increase tariff rates on $200bn worth of Chinese imports from 10% to 25% if the two sides don't strike a deal by 1 March.

The Trump administration said the USA president still wants to meet China's Xi Jinping in an effort to end the trade war, a sign of optimism as negotiators from the world's two biggest economies start their latest round of talks this week.

Trump's advisers have previously described March 1 as a "hard deadline", but Trump told reporters for the first time that a delay was now possible.

Washington is expected to keep pressing Beijing on long-standing demands that it make sweeping structural reforms to protect American companies' intellectual property, or IP, end policies aimed at forcing the transfer of technology to Chinese companies, and curb industrial subsidies.

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President Trump has also said he's unlikely to meet President Xi Jinping before the deadline, dampening hopes of a speedy resolution.

Mnuchin appeared at a Beijing hotel a couple of days ahead of scheduled high-level meetings with Chinese officials in the capital, with a March 1 deadline looming to strike an accord.

One source who had been briefed on the arrangements noted: "Xi is scheduled to meet both Lighthizer and Mnuchin on Friday". But the two sides are only just starting the work of drafting a common document and are still tussling over how a deal may be enforced, which USA officials have repeatedly called a crucial element.

Trump indicated that he'll wait and see what will come of the ministerial meeting that's starting on Thursday in Beijing.

The United States and its Western allies believe Huawei's apparatus could be used for espionage, and see its expansion into central Europe as a way to gain a foothold in the European Union market.

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