Top China Trade Official Makes Surprise Stop at U.S. Trade Meetings

Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq futures mostly traded sideways ahead of Monday’s opening bell

Monday's events also came as China and the US began talks in an attempt to settle a trade war that has cost both countries billions of dollars.

Even if a trade agreement is reached soon, analysts say it would be no panacea for China's economy, which is expected to continue decelerating in coming months.

The discussions are the first face-to-face interactions between the US and China since both presidents met in Argentina and agreed to a temporary truce in their tit-for-tat tariff war. Key issues to be discussed include USA demands over trade imbalances, market access, and protection of intellectual property.

The U.S. team, led by Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish, included under secretaries from the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy and Treasury, and senior officials from those agencies and the White House.

US negotiators are headed into talks with Chinese counterparts as the two countries seek a deal to end a trade war that has raised fears of global economic turmoil.

Before the talks ended earlier on Tuesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters at a regular briefing in Beijing that "I believe we will release a detailed readout after they are concluded". Beijing has retaliated in turn to USA tariffs.

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in December agreed to pause a spiralling trade dispute of tit-for-tat import tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods.

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In a sign the meeting was off to a good start, China's economic czar, Vice Premier Liu He, dropped by the talks on Monday to encourage the negotiators. "China has the good faith, on the basis of mutual respect and equality, to resolve the bilateral trade frictions".

Trump imposed import tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods previous year and has threatened more to pressure Beijing to change its practices on issues ranging from industrial subsidies to intellectual property to hacking.

Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business. "China's development has ample tenacity and huge potential", Lu said.

The US and its allies periodically send planes and warships through the area, which is claimed by China, to signal to Beijing their right under global law to pass through the waters.

Liu's appearance at the talks is a "symbol of Xi's personal buy-in" in the effort to reach a deal, said Leland Miller, chief executive officer of China Beige Book, a data-analytics firm that surveys companies across the Chinese economy.

And onto the latest on the trade talks between the world's two superpowers.

"The Chinese side immediately sent military vessels and aircraft to conduct verification and identification on the USA ship and warned it to leave", Lu told the briefing. He added the US has rebuilt China and he didn't believe they were ready to negotiate yet. Before they bring Lighthizer to the table, Prasad said the U.S.is trying to see exactly what sort of offer China is willing to put on the table first.

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