U.S. Commerce secretary

Members of the U.S. trade delegation to China are shown returning from talks to a hotel in Beijing on Monday

Members of the U.S. trade delegation to China are shown returning from talks to a hotel in Beijing on Monday

The Chinese side firmly opposes the relevant action by the USA side and urges the United States to immediately stop such provocations.

"On whether this operation will affect the ongoing trade talks between the two sides, I believe proper resolution of trade disputes is conducive to the world". Last year, US President Donald Trump imposed tariff hikes of up to 25 per cent on United States dollars 250 billion of Chinese goods.

On Monday the USS McCampbell, a guided missile destroyer, sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Paracel Islands "to challenge excessive maritime claims" by China, Pacific Fleet spokeswoman Rachel McMarr said.

The meeting between the US delegation - led by Deputy US Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish and including officials from the Treasury, Commerce, Agriculture and Energy Departments - and the Chinese side ran late into Tuesday night. China responded by imposing penalties on $110 billion of American goods, slowing customs clearance for USA companies and suspending issuing licenses in finance and other businesses.

Ross, in an interview on CNBC, said the talks in Beijing would help determine whether trade differences between the world's two largest economies could be resolved through negotiations.

Officials from both countries are meeting in China this week in the first face-to-face interaction they've had since last November, when they agreed to a 90-day cease-fire in their trade dispute.

"We urge the United States to immediately stop such provocative actions", Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a regular press briefing, adding that Beijing had lodged a diplomatic complaint with Washington.

"The relevant action by the USA vessel violated Chinese laws and relevant global laws, infringed upon China's sovereignty, and undermined peace, security and order of the relevant waters", Lu said. Before they bring Lighthizer to the table, Prasad said the U.S.is trying to see exactly what sort of offer China is willing to put on the table first.

In public statements aides like Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary, and Peter Navarro, a White House trade adviser, have played down the impact of the trade wars on markets, the US economy and companies.

He and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed December 1 to postpone more tariff hikes on each other's goods for 90 days while they negotiate. "That's probably the easiest one to solve", Ross said.

Trump has imposed tariffs to pressure Beijing to change its practices on issues ranging from corporate espionage to market access and industrial subsidies. Economists expect American orders from China to slump this year, at a time when global consumer demand is weakening.

One Chinese official reportedly described the negotiations as "constructive".

USA officials held a second day of trade talks with Chinese counterparts in Beijing on Tuesday, overshadowed by an unannounced visit from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

"It is imperative for the two sides to create enabling environment for the talks at this time", he said.

The talks are occurring as Chinese growth - 6.5 percent in the July-to-September period - fell to its lowest point in a decade. That includes giving specific dates for making purchases, and making assurances that Beijing won't hinder US companies from gaining access to China's market. There is no question that the Chinese want the deal, they need the deal.

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