Mnuchin, in China, looks forward to trade talks

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U.S. Naval Patrol Prompts Chinese Protest as Trade Talks StartMore

On the US-China end, following the dashing of hopes for a Trump-Xi meeting prior to the March 1 deadline last week, President Donald Trump's latest hint of openness to extending the deadline lifted hopes for an eventual resolution. While it remains hard to tell how close the two countries are towards achieving an agreement, President Donald Trump does appear eager to see a deal being reached enthusing the markets.

He and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are set to hold talks on Thursday and Friday with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, the top economic adviser to President Xi Jinping, according to previously announced schedules by Beijing and Washington.

If the two sides can not reach a deal by March 1, US tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports are scheduled to increase to 25 percent from 10 percent.

The fact that a presidential-level meeting is still in the cards - and that both sides are now reportedly angling for it to happen in mid-to-late March - means that the 90 days of trade talks are likely to be extended past the March 2 deadline. Officials have said March 1 is a "real deadline" for reaching a deal. A round of talks at the end of January ended with some progress reported - but no deal and U.S. declarations that much more work was needed.

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A second source said that Xi is expected to meet the United States delegation in Beijing this week, although the specific timing has not yet been confirmed. China would likely respond by raising tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S goods that it announced a year ago in retaliation.

Lower level officials had arrived earlier for what the White House has called preparatory meetings due to start on Monday. Washington is demanding far-reaching changes from China to address unfair practices it says are deeply unfair, including theft of American intellectual property and the massive Chinese trade surplus.

Both the Chinese government and Huawei have dismissed these concerns. -China talks with U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer last week, and added that he thought the talks were "constructive and serious".

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