US, China envoys hold last talks before March 1 deadline

World War 3 fears in South China Sea

TENSIONS There are growing fears of a US-China war

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he was "looking forward" to crunch negotiations with China as he emerged in Beijing on Tuesday with global attention focused on whether the two sides can reach a trade deal.

"Xi is scheduled to meet both Lighthizer and Mnuchin on Friday", one of the sources told the South China Morning Post newspaper.

China accused the USA of "tricks" as two American warships sailed through waters claimed by Beijing on the eve of high-level trade talks.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky said on Wednesday the two presidents were expected to meet "sometime in March", but no dates were set.

China says the bases are essential for self-defense and accused the USA of ramping up tensions in the region by sending battleships and warplanes close to the disputed islands.

Trump met with Liu at the White House when a Chinese delegation came to Washington for talks at the end of January.

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.

California's liberal Democratic governor nixes high-speed rail line due to cost
"Let's be real, the current project as planned would cost too much and, respectfully, take too long. Newsom also said that there "simply isn't a path" that connects the northern and southern regions.

Mnuchin told reporters in Beijing late yesterday he was eager to start.

Businesspeople and economists say the two days of talks are unlikely to resolve the battle that threatens to drag on weakening global economic growth.

He and other United States officials left their hotel today without making substantive remarks.

China's trading partners say the state support for industries violates Beijing's market-opening obligations and some American officials worry they might erode USA industrial leadership.

Another source confirmed that Xi was set to meet with the USA delegation in Beijing later in the week, without specifying the exact date.

A round of talks at the end of January ended with some progress reported, but no deal and USA declarations that much more work was needed.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cautioned allies on Monday against deploying equipment from Chinese telecoms giant Huawei Technologies on their soil, saying it would make it more hard for Washington to "partner alongside them". While the American side has expressed optimism, officials caution that there are still many large issues between the US and China.

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