Progress unclear after 3 days of U.S.-China trade talks conclude

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The two sides "implemented the consensus" reached by President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump in earlier talks, and discussed both trade and structural issues in the meetings, which took place January 7 to January 9.

"The talk has enhanced mutual understanding and laid a foundation for addressing each other's concerns", it said.

The second day of trade negotiations coincided with an unannounced visit by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for talks with Xi in Beijing, amid speculation of a second meeting between Kim and Trump.

But a more hard question may be whether China agrees to monitoring of such a commitment, a condition that US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has said is a prerequisite to any deal.

China and the USA will move ahead with trade talks as scheduled, Ministry of Commerce Spokesman Gao Feng told reporters in Beijing at a regular weekly briefing Thursday, without giving any further details over when they would take place.

"I think China wants to get it resolved - their economy's not doing well", Mr Trump told reporters on Sunday.

China and the United States made progress during their recent trade talks over structural issues such as forced technology transfers and intellectual property rights, China's commerce ministry said on Thursday.

The US delegation, led by Deputy Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish, included representatives from the departments of energy, agriculture, treasury and commerce.

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

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Trade tensions between the world's two largest economies escalated previous year, putting global stock markets on edge.

As the trade talks wound down, China's top economic official, Premier Li Keqiang, met with CEO Elon Musk of electric auto brand Tesla Inc.

American leaders worry those plans might erode US industrial leadership, but Chinese leaders see them as a path to prosperity and global influence and are reluctant to abandon them.

While Chinese goods going to the US initially held up in the face of higher tariffs due to so-called front-loading, their value slumped in the final quarter of 2018, according to the latest available data.

A statement on the talks from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) did not mention any new breakthroughs, but instead listed longstanding topics of discussion.

Trump hiked tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods over complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology.

But if the countries fail to reach a deal by March 2, Trump has threatened to restart the trade war, increasing tariffs on 200 billion dollars-worth of Chinese imports from ten to twenty-five percent. 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 U.S.is looking to crack down on China's business practices, including allegations of technology theft along with slashing the trade deficit and getting more access to Chinese markets.

U.S. companies also want action on Chinese policies they complain improperly favor local companies.

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