Top Xi aide unexpectedly shows up at US-China trade talks

Trump's trade negotiators finally get started with Beijing as 90-day clock ticks

US and China agreed to hold trade talks on January 7-8 on Beijing

The talks are the first face-to-face interactions between the USA and China since both presidents met in Argentina and agreed a temporary truce in their tit-for-tat tariff war.

Mr Trump has imposed tariffs to pressure Beijing to change its practices on issues ranging from corporate espionage to market access and industrial subsidies.

On its part, China has resumed purchases of U.S. soya beans, suspended import tariffs on United States cars and also released a draft foreign investment law banning forced technology transfers.

A USA guided-missile destroyer on Monday sailed within 12 nautical miles of disputed islands in the South China Sea "to challenge excessive maritime claims", a Pacific Fleet spokeswoman told Reuters.

Lu also referred to Trump's latest statement on Sunday, in which he said China's weak economic situation would give Beijing an "incentive" to negotiate. Ahead of the midterms, Beijing attempted to sway voters in those states by running advertorials depicting the USA trade tariffs negatively in a major Iowa newspaper.

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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, sounded positive note by saying that negotiations between the two sides were going "very well".

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the conduct of the USA ship had violated China's and global law, and China had lodged "stern representations".

An opinion article that ran on CGTN, the global channel of China's state-run broadcaster, on January 6 expressed hope for real results during the talks.

China's foreign ministry on Monday confirmed that Wang would deliver a keynote speech at Davos.

Delegates from the United States and China on Monday began the crucial face-to-face negotiations here to ease a bitter trade war between the world's two largest economies amid growing concerns about China's slowing economy and its impact on American businesses. Back then, the two leaders announced a 90-day truce on new tariffs, which is set to expire on March 1.

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"It certainly has hurt the Chinese economy", Ross told CNBC.

"We have made stern complaints with the U.S.", Lu said.

Trade tensions have contributed to a steep decline in the stock market since September. Both Taiwan and Vietnam also claim the Paracel Islands, and the US has contended that its ships passed through only worldwide waters, which Chinese officials refuted.

Tu Xinquan, a Chinese trade expert at Beijing's University of International Business and Economics, told Reuters before talks began that the meetings would likely focus on technical issues and leave major disagreements to more senior officials.

The manufacturing sectors in both countries have been hit by the trade dispute, with China's contracting last month for the first time in over two years, according to official data.

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American companies like Apple and FedEx have already attributed lowered revenue estimates to the trade war with China.

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