China warns trade deals off if USA imposes tariffs

President Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping during Trump's visit to China last November. The US has threatened

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Liu He, China's economic czar, led the weekend negotiations, after several days of talks by lower level officials.

The planned U.S. trade sanctions on Beijing include restrictions on Chinese investment, export controls and 25% tariffs on $50 billion in tech goods. It criticised Trump's move this week and said it reserved the right to retaliate but avoided repeating its earlier threat.

The negotiating process should be "based on the premise" of not fighting a "trade war", the statement said.

There was no immediate comment from the United States delegation.

Mr Trump is pressing Beijing to narrow its politically volatile trade surplus with the United States, which reached a record $US375.2 billion ($495.7 billion) past year.

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Last week, the Trump administration then announced it would roll out duties on Chinese imports worth $50 billion, mainly from the technology sector.

"The US focus on so-called industrially significant technologies heightens the risk of escalation between the two countries", BMI Research said in a report.

Mnuchin, speaking at a G7 finance leaders meeting in Canada where he was the target of US allies' anger over steel and aluminum tariffs, said the China talks would cover other issues, including the Trump administration's desire to eliminate Chinese joint venture requirements and other policies that effectively force technology transfers. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who announced the tariff truce with China, said at the G7 summit in Canada that the United States was pushing for "structural changes" to the Chinese economy. The talks were focussed on getting China to move ahead with its recent promises to increase energy and farm imports from the U.S.

As the trade dispute threatened to blow up into a full scale "war", US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin came under fire from the European Union at the Group of Seven, or G7, meeting of finance leaders in the Canadian ski resort of Whistler.

But the cease-fire appears to have ended prematurely.

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Analysts had noted in recent weeks a seesawing of United States demands of China, that may reflect division among Trump's inner circle on whether reducing the trade deficit, demanding structural change to China's economy or addressing forced technology transfers was the priority.

Analysts suggested Trump might be trying to appease critics of his administration's deal to allow Chinese telecom equipment giant ZTE Corp.to stay in business. The tariffs are meant to pressure Beijing for allegedly stealing trade secrets and forcing foreign companies to hand over technology in exchange for access to the Chinese market.

The 50-member strong USA raised topics including additional Chinese purchases of United States exports. Washington and Beijing have threatened tit-for-tat tariffs on goods worth up to $150 billion each. Tuesday's announcement gave no indication whether the other increases might also go ahead. China says the trade deficit is around Dollars 200 billion. Those talks produced "positive and concrete" developments, according to a Chinese government statement carried by the official news agency, Xinhua. Mr Liu's delegation included China's central bank governor and commerce minister.

"Our meetings so far have been friendly and frank, and covered some useful topics about specific export items", Ross told the media after dining with Liu on Saturday evening.

The US pressure over technology policy reflects growing American concern about China's status as a potential competitor and complaints Beijing improperly subsidizes its fledgling industries and shields them from competition.

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So I was just winging it in the last minute. "It's been two years since I played here". "I have been really enjoying it". Rafael Nadal finished off a rain-interrupted victory as he begins his try for a record-extending 11th French Open title.

China has threatened to dash any trade agreements struck with the U.S. in recent weeks if President Donald Trump moves ahead with his threat to level tariff hikes against Chinese goods.

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