Businesspeople and economists say the two days of talks that started Thursday are unlikely to resolve a fight over Beijing's technology ambitions.
They say Chinese negotiators are trying to persuade Trump they are making enough progress to postpone the March 2 duty increase.
The chief US envoy, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and his Chinese counterpart, Vice Premier Liu He, shook hands at the start of the meeting at a government guesthouse but said nothing to reporters.
Trump agreed in December to postpone further punitive duties on Chinese goods while the two sides negotiate. That suspension expires March 1.
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