China says trade talks with US ‘impossible under current conditions’

China said Monday trade talks with the United States are “impossible” under current conditions after President Donald Trump tweeted that he saw an end to the dispute

“Up to now, Chinese and US officials have not held any negotiations on the trade dispute,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters during a regular press briefing.

“Under the current conditions, it is impossible for the two sides to have any negotiations on this issue,” Geng added.

Asian markets rose earlier in the day as fears about a potentially catastrophic China-US trade war were tempered by hopes the two sides will be able to hammer out an agreement.

On Friday, Trump had warned of tariffs on an additional $100 billion worth of Chinese imports, to which Beijing responded by saying it would stand firm.

But on Sunday he seemed to back off, tweeting that he saw an end to the dispute: “China will take down its trade barriers because it is the right thing to do,” he wrote.

However, top advisor Larry Kudlow, who has often suggested the tariffs might not go into effect, warned Friday the announcements were not negotiating tactics.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the White House hoped to negotiate but acknowledged a trade war was a possibility. (AFP)