WASHINGTON : With less than three weeks to go before proposed talks between the Chinese and US leaders, expectations for progress toward ending the trade war are low and sources say there has been little preparation for a meeting even as the health of the world economy is at stake.

President Donald Trump says he wants to meet with President Xi Jinping at the June 28-29 G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan and will decide on whether to extend tariffs to almost all Chinese goods after that.

Though neither side has confirmed that a meeting will take place, investors worldwide who have seen over a trillion dollars wiped from global markets in the past month due to ongoing US-China trade war will be closely watching any interaction between the two men.

Relations have deteriorated since May when negotiations to end the US-Chinese trade disputes broke down, all but killing off the possibility of an agreement in Japan.

''The atmosphere is poisonous,'' one senior Beijing based Western diplomat told Reuters, referring to China-US ties.

Sources familiar with the matter, including officials and diplomats in Washington and Beijing, say there has been a lack of preparatory work for the meeting, due largely to the increasing acrimony.

The trade negotiation teams have not met since talks ended in stalemate on May 10.

The White House declined to comment on plans for a Trump Xi meeting.

''Preparations for the G20 summit in Japan are ongoing. We have nothing to announce at this time regarding specific bilateral meetings,'' White House National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis commented. [Reuters]


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