It's nearly crunch time for US and Chinese negotiators hoping to avoid a big escalation in the trade war, and it now appears that President Trump and Xi Jinping will meet face-to-face just before a crucial deadline. The Wall Street Journal reports that China has floated the idea of a meeting in late February—ahead of the March 2 deadline for new US sanctions to take effect. Trump would reportedly meet with Xi after his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The report comes as high-level negotiators from China and the US are meeting in Washington to try to strike a deal. Trump himself tweeted that the "meetings are going well," but he added that "no final deal will be made until my friend President Xi, and I, meet in the near future."
CNBC notes that Japan and South Korea would be wary of the US having back-to-back meetings with Xi and Kim and would likely insist on immediate briefings. The Journal reports that the Chinese delegation, led by Vice Premier Liu He, has brought only "modest concessions" to Washington that will be unlikely to satisfy American demands. Trump was expected to meet with the vice premier himself later Thursday at the White House, and the president tweeted about what the US wants. "Looking for China to open their Markets not only to Financial Services, which they are now doing, but also to our Manufacturing, Farmers and other U.S. businesses and industries," he wrote. "Without this a deal would be unacceptable!" (Read more US-China relations stories.)