The Latest: US, Chinese officials try to head off trade war

WASHINGTON — The Latest on U.S.-China trade negotiations (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

The White House says Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will lead talks Thursday and Friday with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He aimed at heading off a trade war between the world's two biggest economies.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow and trade advisers Peter Navarro and Everett Eissenstat will also participate.

The Trump administration has proposed tariffs on up to $150 billion in Chinese products to punish Beijing for forcing American companies to turn over technology in exchange for access to the Chinese market. China has counterpunched by targeting $50 billion in U.S. products.

Neither country has imposed the tariffs. Liu's visit to Washington is meant to defuse the conflict.

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2 p.m.

President Donald Trump says there has been "no folding" in his trade negotiations with China, as he addresses his efforts to help a Chinese telecommunications company that violated U.S. sanctions.

Trump tweeted on Wednesday, "Nothing has happened with ZTE except as it pertains to the larger trade deal."

He added that, "We have not seen China's demands yet." He also said, "There has been no folding as the media would love people to believe."

Trump tweeted his support for ZTE earlier this week, putting the president at odds with the Commerce Department and its decision to impose trade restrictions on the company amid allegations it violated U.S. sanctions.

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