BEIJING — High-level talks between American and Chinese officials ended in Beijing on Friday afternoon with no immediate announcement from either side, according to an American government official, as two weeks remain until President Trump’s deadline for a resolution of the United States trade conflict with China.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether Robert Lighthizer, the United States trade representative, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had made progress in resolving any of the thorny issues separating the two sides. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks are not public.
Mr. Mnuchin said on Twitter that they had “productive meetings” with Liu He, China’s economic czar.
Mr. Lighthizer and Mr. Mnuchin met with Xi Jinping, China’s top leader, later Friday afternoon.
The two sides have been struggling with more than 100 issues raised by the United States in a lengthy statement given to Chinese officials in May. In the preparations for this week’s talks, the sides had been unable even to agree on a draft framework for the broad outlines of a possible deal, so expectations for any comprehensive settlement had been low from the start.
Many of the issues, like how to handle the tech sector, have been festering between the United States and China for a long time. Many high-tech issues are also changing and evolving along with the sector, making it especially difficult to put in place a durable agreement.
“Particularly in the areas of technology regulation and standards, it will be a game of Whac-a-Mole at best,” said James Green, who was the top trade official at the United States Embassy in Beijing until August and is now a senior nonresident fellow at Georgetown University.
The United States had given China a March 2 deadline toward reaching a deal and threatened to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent. But Mr. Trump suggested this week that he could give China more time if the talks showed progress.
The negotiations this week have encompassed some issues on which incremental progress has been made in recent weeks, people briefed on the negotiations said. China has agreed to disclose more of its government subsidies to the World Trade Organization, said these people, who insisted on anonymity because of diplomatic sensitivities in the talks.
Chinese officials have also expressed a willingness to let foreign companies participate in panels that set standards on important industrial issues, like fuel-economy averages for cars. But while that might give foreign companies a glimpse of upcoming rules, they would be in a minority and might not have much influence.
Big sticking points remain in the trade talks, said the people briefed on the negotiations.
The most difficult and intractable issue involves the Trump administration’s desire to put meaningful restrictions on China’s ability to keep investing enormous sums of money from the government, and from government-affiliated financial institutions, in a wide range of advanced manufacturing sectors that compete with American industries. These include areas like commercial aircraft manufacturing, semiconductors and artificial intelligence.
Another challenge for negotiators is that both sides perceive national security as being at stake in some of the issues.
China has been reluctant to unblock internet access to its market for some of Silicon Valley’s biggest and most successful businesses, like Facebook and Google. It fears that without stringent censorship, everything from democratic ideas to pornography would be harder to fight.
The Trump administration also sees national security at issue in a long list of products that the United States either already imports from China or might be likely to import in the next few years. These include many products, from nuclear reactor components to aircraft engine parts, from among the $50 billion of annual imports on which the administration imposed 25 percent tariffs in the summer.
Mr. Trump and Mr. Xi agreed in Buenos Aires on Dec. 1 on a stopgap compromise that does not fully satisfy either side but might prove durable. Mr. Trump agreed not to raise tariffs further then but kept in place the tariffs he had already imposed, while China removed most of the retaliation that it had imposed.
That deal has not satisfied trade hawks in the United States, who want broader changes in the bilateral relationship, or the more nationalistic wing of the Chinese Communist Party, which perceived the deal as representing, to some extent, a Chinese retreat.