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US trade negotiators to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping: White House

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

AFP Washington, USA Feb 14, 2019, 10.44 PM (IST)

High level US trade negotiators in Beijing will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, a top White House official confirmed Thursday.

President Donald Trump's economic advisor Larry Kudlow told reporters in Washington that he'd just talked to the delegation, which includes US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

"They're covering all the ground. They're hard at it. They are going to meet with President Xi, so that's a very good sign," he said.

Kudlow said "the vibe is good."

But he said there'd been "no decision" on extending a March 1 truce in tariff hikes between the world's two main economic powers.

Earlier, the South China Morning Post reported that the US officials would meet with Xi, bolstering hopes for a successful outcome in the talks.

Trump has said he is open to extending the March 1 deadline to give time for more negotiations and he says he will meet with Xi to finalise any deal.

The United States accuses China of a slew of unfair trading practices, including systemic theft of US intellectual property, and wants deep reforms to the system.

Beijing and Washington have already imposed duties on more than $360 billion in two-way trade, weighing on their manufacturing sectors and shaking global financial markets.

Story highlights

Trump has said he is open to extending the March 1 deadline to give time for more negotiations and he says he will meet with Xi to finalise any deal.