Trade war: China says United States talks 'laid ground' to resolve dispute

What hope for markets in the US-China trade talks?

World markets rose Wednesday on increasing optimism that the two sides would be able to hammer out a deal ahead of a March deadline and avert further import tariff hikes - though Asian stocks were mostly down on Thursday.

A United States delegation arrived in Beijing on Monday for the first face-to-face dialogue with officials in Beijing since President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed to a three-month tariff truce during a meeting held on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Argentina on December 1.

The US delegation was supposed to end its visit on Tuesday.

The trade talks between China and the United States this week have laid a foundation for resolving their disputes, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday.

China's commerce ministry said the discussions "established a foundation for the resolution of each others' concerns".

The two sides agreed to keep close contact, according to the statement. Reuters reported that both parties showed further signs of progress on issues including the purchases of US farm and energy commodities, as well as greater access to Chinese markets. The talks, though arduous, were conducted in a pleasant and candid atmosphere, he said.

Tesla broke ground this week in Shanghai on its first factory outside the U.S. Musk said production of its Model 3 would start late this year.

The 90-day time frame is a tight window in which to nail down deep changes to China's economic model, reforms which past US administrations advocated for years and USA lawmakers on both sides of the aisle support. That meeting would likely include a senior Chinese government official along with trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

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Trump, who has been accusing China of indulging in unfair trade practices contributing to the huge trade deficit amounting to Dollars 375 billion, on Tuesday said the trade talks with Beijing were going on "very well".

In addition to the large trade deficit, the U.S. has long complained about such structural issues. The escalating trade war raised concerns in China as its economy was on the downward trend amid efforts by the government to rejig the export-dependent economy to that of relying more on domestic consumption.

China is facing the daunting task of presenting a credible plan to meet Trump's demands to cut down the trade deficit. In recent weeks, China has showed some signs of flexibility or acceding to the American demands.

Such a move would likely prompt further retaliation by China, which has already levied tariffs on USA goods, further rattling investors who are nervous about a significant slowdown in China's economy.

China also proposed clear bans on forced technology transfer in new draft foreign investment legislation.

Chinese exports to the US have held up despite tariff increases of up to 25 percent on $250 billion of Chinese imports, partly due to exporters rushing to fill orders before more increases hit. Exports of Chinese goods to Russian Federation increased 12 percent and amounted to $43.45 billion, while Russia's sales to China surged 44.3 percent to $53.78 billion.

The Trump administration also wants Beijing to buy more American goods to narrow a yawning trade gap and allow foreign players better access to the Chinese market.

Russia is reportedly ranked as China's tenth biggest trade partner, while China remains a major importer of Russian produce, accounting for 15 percent of the country's global trade as of 2017.

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