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The South China Morning Post (SCMP) quotes two separate sources, as saying that the US-China trade talks fell apart five days before hopes of a deal after a private chat between China’s Liu He and the US’ Robert Lighthizer and Steven Mnuchin changed the mood.

Key Points:

What exactly had caused this costly impasse in the trade talks and sent global markets into a tailspin remained unclear. The US side accused Beijing of  “reneging”  on its earlier promises.

The talks hit a snag because the US side “kept adding new demands in the late stages of the negotiations”.

They said “some of these would directly affect China’s political and social stability”. Beijing was particularly angered by the additional tariffs and what it saw as the US’ attempt to shift the blame to China.

“The real reason is that the US side keep changing their demands,” one source said. “There were so many changes that we can’t [keep giving in]. And then they turned around and accused us of backtracking.”