China-US tensions rise ahead of Xi-Trump trade talk

Beijing, China - Hopes this week's meeting between US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the G20 in Argentina will achieve a trade breakthrough are fading with analysts and business leaders expressing disappointment over intensifying tensions in the lead up to the summit.

The high-stakes encounter between the two leaders in Buenos Aires is seen as the last ray of hope that Beijing and Washington will resolve trade differences and avert additional US tariffs on Chinese exports in the new year.

So Henry Wang, president of the Beijing-based think-tank Center for China and Globalization, was surprised when last week US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer released a statement saying China had failed to alter "unfair, unreasonable, and market-distorting practices".

"It's not appropriate to publish this negative report prior to the summit. It's not conducive to constructive dialogue, and it just doesn't look good," said Wang.

The findings are part of an update of the US Trade Representative's "Section 301" investigation into China's intellectual property and technology transfer policies.

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