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Hopes rose for a US China break through on trade on Wednesday. An American official told reporters the U.S. delegation had a, quote, few good days, and talks were wrapping up. Wednesday was an unscheduled third day of talks, with China's Foreign Ministry saying the extra time showed they were very serious about negotiations.
The extension also saw Asian stock markets jump up with shares in the region hitting a three-and-a-half week high. Investors may be optimistic the US and China can avoid an all out trade confrontation, but has the potential to disrupt the global economy. Talks were stretched into a third day after signs of progress, China could buy more US farm and energy commodities, and the US could get better access to Chinese markets.
US President Donald Trump tweeted on Tuesday that the talks weren't going very well. But Reuters sources close to the talks said the two sides were farther apart on the kinds of reforms the White House is demanding from China. Those would aim to stop the alleged theft of intellectual property and force transfer of U.S. technology and determine how Beijing will be held to its promises.
If there's no deal by March, Trump has said he will go ahead and raise tariffs to 25% from their current 10% on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to the US. It's a move that could trigger retaliation from Beijing. It would also come at a time that recent data showed China's economy is slowing significantly.
On Wednesday, the state-run China Daily said, Beijing is keen to put an end to the trade dispute but will not make any, quote, unreasonable concessions