World

US-China make ‘no progress’ in trade talks

By AAP Newswire

The White House has denied a report from the South China Morning Post that says Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is planning to leave Washington on Thursday after just one day of minister-level meetings.

"We are not aware of a change in the Vice Premier's travel plans at this time," a White House spokesman told CNBC.

Liu is still scheduled to leave on Friday evening, CNBC reported, citing an official.

When asked if a breakthrough can be expected in the China talks this week, the official told CNBC that US President Donald Trump has not yet made up his mind.

"As of right now, (Trump) has not made up his mind, because he does not know what they're going to offer", the official said late on Wednesday.

Earlier the SCMP reported the two nations had made no progress in deputy-level trade talks held during Monday and Tuesday in Washington.

It said the Chinese delegation, headed by Liu, was planning to leave Washington on Thursday after just one day of minister-level meetings, while Beijing's negotiating team had previously planned to leave Washington late on Friday.

China refused to talk about forced technology transfer and also skirted the issue of state subsidies during the deputy-level meetings, SCMP said, citing a source with knowledge of the meetings.

The two sides have been at loggerheads over US demands that China improve protections of American intellectual property, end cyber theft and the forced transfer of technology to Chinese firms, curb industrial subsidies and increase US companies' access to largely closed Chinese markets.

Without significant progress during the talks, US President Donald Trump is set to hike the tariff rate on $US250 billion worth of Chinese goods to 30 per cent from 25 per cent on Tuesday.

The first minister-level meetings between the two countries in more than two months is set to begin on Thursday.