USA trade representative Lighthizer arrives in China ahead of high-level talks

World War 3 fears in South China Sea

When asked if the Navy's move would affect the talks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying called it "a series of US tricks, "according to Reuters".

"We respect all countries' right for freedom of navigation and flight under worldwide law, but we firmly oppose any action to jeopardize the sovereignty and security of countries under the pretext of freedom of navigation", Hua said Monday.

Trump's comments echoed those of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who earlier told reporters in Beijing: "So far, so good", when asked about the progress of talks.

Trump's December agreement to postpone more tariff hikes while the two sides negotiate expires March 1. Extending the deadline could pave the way for a potential deal-clinching meeting with President Xi Jinping.

"It will ultimately take".

However, White House senior counselor Kellyanne Conway said on Monday a meeting was still possible soon, telling Fox News Channel that Trump wants a deal with China, but it must be "fair to Americans, and American workers and American interests".

Mr Trump said last week that he did not plan to meet Mr Xi before the March 1 deadline. U.S. President Trump appeared to soften his stance on trade negotiations overnight, indicating he may be flexible on the March 1st deadline for a trade agreement with China, noted St.George Bank.

"Hopefully they are going to be meeting and will be able conclude a deal", Censky told a renewable fuels conference in Orlando, Florida.

The USS Preble was one of two warships conducting the operation; they were shadowed by Chinese assets, but the interactions were routine and uneventful, according to a USA official. In particular, the U.S.is demanding structural changes to the Chinese economy, including an end to state-subsidies of Chinese-owned businesses and an end to policies that transfer technology intellectual property from USA firms to Chinese competitors.

The latest talks will begin with working level discussions from Monday-Wednesday before high-level discussions at the end of the week, according to Reuters.

China's trading partners say those violate Beijing's market-opening obligations and some American officials worry they might erode US industrial leadership.

Two US Navy destroyers conducted a freedom-of-navigation operation in the South China Sea on Monday, challenging China's claims to the Spratly Islands.

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