Can fresh US-China trade talks bring a breakthrough?

The financial district in Shanghai

The financial district in Shanghai

"China is the biggest beneficiary of Apple, more than us".

U.S. negotiators on Monday 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.

Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish will lead the delegation that will meet with Chinese counterparts starting Monday.

China says it is ready to buy more U.S. goods, but it is resisting USA demands for tougher action on technology transfers, and less state support for strategic industries like robotics and computer chips.

"Next week's negotiations are important because they will establish expectations", said Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of global affairs at the US Chamber of Commerce. "President Xi (Jinping) is very much involved, so am I. We're dealing at the highest levels and we're doing very well". In exchange, Trump agreed to put on hold a planned increase in tariffs on $200 billion (€175 billion) in imports from China.

Chinese officials have said new measures will combat intellectual property theft, indicating that Beijing may make major changes to its "Made in China 2025" initiative, which calls for state-led creation of champions in robotics, artificial intelligence and other fields. They criticize his tactics but echo USA complaints about Chinese industrial policy and market barriers.

The government has set a growth target of around 6.5 percent for 2018, down from 6.9 percent in 2017.

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During that 90-day period, agreements "may not be reached until the last day", said Tu Xinquan, director of the China Institute for World Trade Organization Studies at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.

The manufacturing sectors in both countries have been hit by the trade dispute, with China's contracting last month for the first time in over two years, according to official data.

The sell-off dropped Apple to fourth place in terms of USA companies by market capitalization.

The negotiators will discuss "implementing the important consensus" reached by Trump and Xi in December, China's commerce ministry said last week.

Asked what he expected to come out of this week's talks in Beijing, Trump sounded a positive note. Trump said on Friday he wasn't concerned about Apple's revenue warning.

"China would like to see some sort of deal be had, even if it's a temporary one that takes people through a few years", Einar Tangen, a political analyst specialising on China and an adviser to the Chinese government on economic and development issues, told Al Jazeera from Beijing.

China have since made a number of concessions, including rolling back additional tariffs on U.S. auto imports, resuming purchases of United States soybeans, downplaying its "Made in China 2025" strategy, and proposing amendments to the foreign investment law that will make it illegal to force technology transfers to Chinese partners.

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