Chatting with China

In this Dec. 18, 2018, photo, a surveillance camera is mounted near the Huawei headquarters in Shenzhen in south China’s Guangdong province. The U.S. Justice Department unsealed criminal charges Monday, Jan. 28, 2019 against Chinese tech giant Huawei, a top company executive and several subsidiaries, alleging the company stole trade secrets, misled banks about its business and violated U.S. sanctions. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

For US-China trade talks, hopes are high, expectations low

By PAUL WISEMAN and CHRISTOPHER RUGABER

AP Economics Writers

Wednesday, January 30

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. and Chinese negotiators start two days of high-level talks Wednesday aimed at settling a six-month trade war that has weakened both sides, shaken financial markets and clouded the outlook for the global economy.

Yet the odds seem stacked against any substantive resolution this week to the standoff between the world’s two biggest economies. Perhaps the best that might be hoped for, analysts say, is for the two sides to agree to keep talking.

The differences between Beijing and Washington are vast. The United States is essentially demanding that China downsize its economic aspiration to become a supreme world leader in such fields as robotics and electric cars.

“A comprehensive deal that fundamentally changes their system — I don’t think that’s possible,” said Christopher Adams, a former U.S. trade official specializing in China and now a senior adviser at the law firm Covington.

Earlier negotiations flamed out. And this time President Donald Trump might be inclined to drive an especially hard bargain after being forced to cave in a dispute with congressional Democrats that partially shut the federal government for 35 days.

Moreover, a new complication injected itself into U.S.-China relations on the eve of the talks when the Justice Department brought criminal charges Monday against the

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