China talks resume as hopes for mini-deal rise

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie

For now, Washington will hold off on a massive tariff increase planned for next week and - as negotiations progress - new December tariffs could also be cancelled, U.S. officials said.

"It's not much and it doesn't get us very far in the big issues, so whether it will lead to anything important is still very unclear", said Barry Naughton, an expert on China's economy at the University of California, San Diego.

The US president said the both sides reached an agreement on intellectual property and financial services.

President Trump said Friday the USA and China have reached a "substantial phase one deal" to begin to resolve their 18-month trade war.

"National security hawks in the USA are determined to show that no trade agreement will stop the US from confronting China on other issues in the relationship, including technology competition, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the South China Sea", they said in a report.

Washington still is planning a December 15 tariff hike on $160 billion of smartphones and other imports.

"We have a fundamental understanding on the key issues. but there is more work to do", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters.

China, meanwhile, said it would increase purchases of US agricultural products.

It could take up to five weeks to commit the agreement to paper, Trump said.

"I think that we're going to have a deal that's a great deal that's beyond tariffs", Trump said.

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The strength was attributed to a tweet by U.S. President Donald Trump that said he is set to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Friday.

"Good things are happening at China Trade Talk Meeting".

According to the terms of the partial deal, China has agreed to purchase between $40 billion and $50 billion worth of US agricultural products.

Markets welcomed the partial deal, which lays the groundwork for a broader trade pact between the United States and China.

However, some observers said the deal was underwhelming.

Business groups expressed relief that the negotiations appeared to be making progress after more than a year of sputtering, yet they acknowledged that the agreement fell short of the sweeping deal that Trump had promised.

China's securities regulator on Friday unveiled a firm timetable for scrapping foreign ownership limits in futures, securities and mutual fund companies for the first time.

The announcement is a sharp turn from several weeks ago, when the president - angry over China's retaliatory tariffs - demanded that American companies stop doing business with China and threatened to tax every toy, shoe and computer from Beijing before the year's end. In May U.S. officials accused China of walking away from a sweeping agreement that was almost finished over a refusal to make changes to Chinese laws that would have ensured its enforceability.

Earlier Friday, China announced a timetable for carrying out a promise to allow full foreign ownership of some finance businesses, starting with futures traders on January 1, as Beijing tries to make its slowing economy more competitive and efficient.

If Friday's negotiations and Oval Office meeting go well, Trump and Liu could also begin laying the groundwork for a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at next month's APEC summit in the Santiago, Chile.

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