China's Xi to meet top US trade officials

The Trump administration is demanding far-reaching changes from China to address commercial practices that it says are deeply unfair

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Trump's top trade negotiator and Treasury secretary arrived in the Chinese capital on Tuesday for high-level talks later in the week as the world's two largest economies attempt to hammer out a deal to protect American trade secrets and avoid another escalation of US tariffs on Chinese goods after March 1.

"China wants to make a deal very badly", he said, and "things are going well" in the talks.

"But at some point I expect to meet with President Xi", Trump noted, "and make the parts of the deal that the group is unable to make happen".

President Donald Trump said he's open to extending a March 1 deadline to raise tariffs on Chinese products if the two sides are near an agreement, sending a conciliatory signal amid talks to resolve the trade war between the world's two biggest economies.

If no deal is reached by that date the USA has threatened to raise tariffs on Chinese imports by 15-percent, but White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow has said the president would consider extending the trade truce if progress is made during negotiations.

Wheat rose 1¢ to $5.18¼ a bushel in Chicago while Kansas City futures declined ¼¢ to $4.94 a bushel.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (left) and Deputy US trade representative Jeffrey Gerrish leaving their Beijing hotel yesterday. "We're looking forward to several important days of talks", Mnuchin said to reporters.

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The USS Preble was one of two warships conducting the operation; they were shadowed by Chinese assets, but the interactions were routine and uneventful, according to a US official.

US officials are in Beijing for the latest round of trade talks. "We have a chance to make a real deal with China. March 1, tariffs go up".

The Chinese delegation will be led by Vice Premier Liu He, China's point man on trade, and central bank governor Yi Gang.

Both the Chinese government and Huawei have dismissed these concerns. Trump said last week they plan to meet, but not before the March 1 deadline.

According to media reports, the meeting may take place in Vietnam on 27-28 February.

Other possible sites include Beijing or Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, where the two met in April 2017, the USA news website Axios reported, citing Trump administration officials. "It would be a awful cost for American consumers and a bad hit to the global economy".

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