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US-China trade talks to resume Thursday: White House

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Chinese Vice Premier Liu He shakes hands with USTrade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Washington on May 10, 2019. The 2 men will meet again on Thursday.

[WASHINGTON] High-level US-China trade negotiations will resume this week in Washington, the White House announced Monday, a hopeful sign after a summer of deteriorating relations.

Beijing's top trade envoy Liu He will meet with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin beginning on Thursday, the White House said in a statement.

Lower-level talks have been underway since last month.

The talks will focus on key areas where the Americans have made far reaching demands since last year: intellectual property rights, the forced transfer of proprietary technologies, agriculture and enforcement, the statement said.

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US President Donald Trump said Friday there was a "very good chance" the two sides will strike a deal.

"We have had good moments with China and bad moments with China," he said. "What we're doing is we're negotiating a very tough deal. If the deal is not going to be 100 per cent for us we aren't going to make it."

Washington and Beijing are due to continue raising tariffs on each other's exports through the end of the year, however.

Mr Trump in recent months has claimed that China's weakening economy puts Beijing under pressure to make a deal. But he also said Chinese officials are dragging their feet in hopes of continuing negotiations with another administration should Trump fail to win reelection in 2020.

China also has been dragged into the impeachment inquiry by congressional Democrats, after Trump last week openly called on Beijing to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden and his son, whom Trump accused of unspecified financial improprieties in China and Ukraine.

AFP