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What hope for markets in the US-China trade talks?

Trade talks between China and the United States are proceeding as planned with the start of the talks in the Chinese capital also buoyed investor sentiment with Asian stock markets registering gains

It's a fresh sign that discussions are moving in a positive direction as staff for the two sides meet face to face for the first time since President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed in December to restart talks.

USA commerce secretary Wilbur Ross predicted that the United States and Chinaare likely to reach a trade deal, as officials from both nations met for face-to-face talks in Beijingon Monday (New York time).

"The main thing is the administration's implied progress on talks with China - that's something that market sees as very important", said Rick Meckler, partner at Cherry Lane Investments.

Last year, a Chinese Peoples' Liberation Army Navy destroyer was attempted to intercept a U.S. Navy destroyer conducting a freedom of navigation operation in the Spratly group when it came within what the United States said was just 40 feet of the bow of the U.S. warship, forcing it to maneuver.

The U.S. trade delegation includes Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Jeffrey Gerrish, USTR Chief Agricultural Negotiator Ambassador Gregg Doud, Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Gilbert B. Kaplan, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg, and Under Secretary for International Affairs David Malpass. This meeting was previously unscheduled, signaling the two sides could be coming together on key issues.

In return, Trump promised to wait 90 days before hiking tariffs to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports - the three-month timeline is indented to give both breathing room to cement a detailed agreement.

Some analysts say that China - Pyongyang's key diplomatic ally and main source of trade - could use Kim's visit as a bargaining chip in the USA trade talks.

The operation was not about any one country or to make a political statement, McMarr said.

But Ms Bonnie Glaser, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the timing of the North Korean leader's arrival could be coincidental.

"China's position in the China-US trade friction and its solutions to the friction is open, it's transparent", Lu said at a regular press briefing.

Well Mark... it's hard to tell at the moment because, as you said, those involved in the trade talks have kept details very close to their chests. "And we're doing very well".

Beijing confirmed the sail-by, calling it a violation of China's sovereignty which has damaged "peace, safety and order" in the South China Sea. There are concerns that US growth, 3.4 percent in the third quarter, is also slowing even as the country's unemployment rate remains almost at a five-decade low.

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. But economists say that is too little time to resolve issues that have disrupted U.S.