State newspaper China Daily said on Wednesday that Beijing is keen to put an end to its trade dispute with the United States, but that it will not make any "unreasonable concessions" and that any agreement must involve compromise on both sides.
The source confirmed to Reuters that the talks were "ongoing", but few other details had emerged.
US and Chinese negotiators meeting this week in Beijing have agreed to extend trade talks until Wednesday, according to a spokesperson for the office of the US Trade Representative.
Since the two presidents met on December 1, China has made a number of concessions to US demands, including temporarily cutting punitive tariffs on USA -made cars, resuming soybean purchases, promising to open up its markets for more foreign investment, and drafting a law to prevent forced technology transfers.
Hundreds of billions in levies.
If no deal is reached by March 2, Mr Trump has said he will proceed with raising tariffs to 25 per cent from 10 per cent on US$200 billion (S$271.5 billion) worth of Chinese imports, at a time when China's economy is slowing significantly.
Earlier on Tuesday, China approved five genetically modified (GM) crops for import, a move seen as a "goodwill gesture" by some in the US agriculture industry that could boost China's overseas grains purchases and ease pressure from the United States to open its markets to more farm goods.
President Trump continues to be optimistic, however, tweeting the talks are going very well.
US farmers and global seed companies have long complained about Beijing's slow and unpredictable process for approving GM crops for import, stoking trade tensions between the two sides.
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Lu also said Vice President Wang Qishan would attend the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in late January, but added that he had not yet heard of any arrangements for a meeting with Trump there.
Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business. And to me those are immediate trade. "China's development has ample tenacity and huge potential", Lu said.
They are different to the Spratley Islands - a series of artificial islands constructed by the Chinese and which have been fitted with military bases and airfields.
China's foreign ministry also made a similar assessment.
Liu's appearance at the talks is a "symbol of Xi's personal buy-in" in the effort to reach a deal, said Leland Miller, chief executive officer of China Beige Book, a data-analytics firm that surveys companies across the Chinese economy.
Neither Chinese nor U.S. officials have given any details about the discussions. Preliminary discussions were "a little more optimistic than usual", White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Bloomberg TV Friday.
Without a resolution, punitive United States duty rates on US$200 billion in Chinese goods are due to rise to 25 per cent from 10 per cent on Mar 2.
The second day of trade negotiations coincided with an unannounced visit by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for talks with Xi in Beijing, amid speculation of a second meeting between Kim and Trump.