The Latest: Trump tweets ties with China will stay ‘great’

Steve Mnuchin
The Associated Press

BEIJING (AP) — The Latest on China-U.S. trade talks in Beijing (all times local):

12:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump has said on Twitter that he expects to maintain smooth relations with China.

“Our great financial team is in China trying to negotiate a level playing field on trade! I look forward to being with President Xi in the not too distant future. We will always have a good (great) relationship,” Trump said in a tweet.

Trump made the remark as the two sides prepared to hold talks in Beijing on resolving conflicts over trade and economic policies that have propelled the two countries toward a full-blown trade war.

The president has long complained of what he says are unfair Chinese policies contributing to a huge U.S. trade deficit.

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12:15 a.m.

U.S. officials say a delegation led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has arrived in Beijing for talks on a festering dispute over trade and technology.

The mission including Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is due to hold talks later Thursday and Friday with Chinese officials led by Liu He, President Xi Jinping’s top economic adviser.

In his complaints over the chronic U.S. trade deficit with China, President Donald Trump has zeroed in on a program under Xi known as “Made in China 2025” that aims to make China a tech superpower.

The plan mostly involves subsidizing Chinese firms. But foreign companies are unhappy over requirements that they share key details about their technology to Chinese partners.

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11:10 a.m.

Chinese and American officials will be trying to defuse tensions pushing the world’s two largest economies toward trade war in meetings in Beijing beginning Thursday. Analysts say that chances for a breakthrough seem slim given the two sides’ desperate rivalry in strategic technologies such as semiconductors.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is leading a delegation of U.S. officials. Liu He, President Xi Jinping’s top economic adviser, is heading the Chinese side in the talks.

Despite the huge U.S. trade deficit, Chinese companies are struggling to overtake western industry leaders in advanced technologies for semiconductors, the silicon brains required to run smartphones, connected cars, cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

Analysts say Beijing is unlikely to cede any ground on policies meant to help close that gap.

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