China trade talks begin in Beijing, boosting markets

US President Donald Trump

US negotiators are 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.

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.

Last year, US President Donald Trump imposed tariff hikes of up to 25 per cent on United States dollars 250 billion of Chinese goods.

"Top administration officials are confident they have enough leverage to win significant changes", NPR's Shanghai correspondent Rob Schmitz reports, "including an end to China's practice of forcing USA companies to hand over key technology in return for gaining access to China's market, and an agreement to buy more products from the U.S".

Date 7 January 2019 USA tariffs have hurt China, giving Beijing a reason to pursue trade talks with Washington, says Donald Trump.

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

Beijing on Friday cut bank-reserve requirements amid slowing growth at home and pressure from the USA tariffs.

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US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, in charge of the overall talks with China, is expected to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, Xi's top economic adviser, later this month.

"From the beginning we have believed that China-U.S. trade friction is not a positive situation for either country or the world economy". In response, China sent a ship that sent a warning to the USA destroyer and demanded that it leave the area.

Trump also said that he thinks the United States has the upper hand since the Chinese economy is experiencing a severe downturn.

The move comes amid the first round of trade talks between the us and China since both countries agreed to a 90-day ceasefire in the on-going trade war that saw both sides slapping tariffs on each other's imports. It's their first face-to-face meeting since the two leaders agreed at a Group of 20 summit in Argentina last month not to impose new tariffs that were due to take effect January 1. Beijing responded with penalties on $110 billion of American goods.

In his New Year address, Xi said despite the slowdown the Chinese economy stayed within a reasonable range in 2018.

But he said agreement on structural trade issues would be harder to reach. The preliminary skirmishes have already done damage to China's economy and some sectors of the U.S. economy as well as its financial markets and have had flow-on effects in the greater Asian region and even Europe.

For their part, Chinese officials are unhappy with US curbs on exports of "dual use" technology with possible military applications. "China has proven it can build infrastructure very quickly and there are merits to this model", he said. "We have lodged stern representations with the USA side". Chinese data last week showed its manufacturing activity contracted for the first time in more than two years.

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