Weak point in China economic system offers Beijing incentive for commerce deal

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The talks "enhanced mutual understanding, and established a foundation for solving, each other's concerns", said the statement, stressing that both sides agreed to maintain close communication, while providing few other details.

China and the United States "conducted extensive, in-depth and meticulous exchanges. which enhanced mutual understanding and laid the foundation for resolving issues of mutual concern", the Chinese commerce ministry said in a statement.

The discussions "went just fine", he said without elaborating, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.

The second day of trade negotiations coincided with an unannounced visit by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for talks with Xi in Beijing, amid speculation of a second meeting between Kim and Trump.

"It's been a good one for us", Ted McKinney, US Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, said after the talks.

"I think China wants to get it resolved - their economy's not doing well", Mr Trump told reporters on Sunday.

Trump and Xi have given their officials until March 1 to reach an accord on "structural changes" to China's economy on issues such as the forced transfer of American technology, intellectual-property rights, and non-tariff barriers. The delegation, led by Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish, extended its stay for an additional day; talks had originally been scheduled to conclude on January 8.

U.S. 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.

Given the results of the talks, reports of optimism on both sides suggest that Washington may be willing to settle for a deal that mostly involves addressing the trade deficit by increasing USA exports to China.

Most Asian markets opened lower after the talks wrapped up the day before without clear indications of whether progress was made on resolving a dispute over Chinese technology policies that has the world's two biggest economies embroiled in a bruising trade war.

Washington is pressing Beijing for changes including rolling back plans for government-led creation of Chinese global champions in robotics and other fields.

Chinese officials have suggested Beijing might alter its industrial plans but reject pressure to abandon what they consider a path to prosperity and global influence.

Without a resolution, punitive U.S. duty rates on $200 billion in Chinese goods are due to rise to 25 percent from 10 percent on March 2.

The US statement said negotiations dealt with the need for "ongoing verification and effective enforcement".

Washington has called on Beijing to make structural reforms that address state-sponsored intellectual-property theft, discriminatory policies that favor domestic firms over foreign ones, and other unfair trade practices.

Trump hiked tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods over complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology.

Companies in both countries are feeling pain from the effects of the tariffs.

The US has been conducting naval and air patrols periodically through the area to assert freedom of navigation inviting strong criticism from China.

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