The Wall Street Journal reports, "President Trump gave his firmest indication yet that the U.S. may not increase tariffs on Chinese goods on March 1, as scheduled, despite statements by his top trade official that the U.S. should stick to a firm deadline. That deadline to complete talks with Beijing is 'not a magical date,' he told reporters Tuesday, as midlevel U.S. and Chinese negotiators started this week's trade meetings. Cabinet-level officials will join the discussions Thursday. Mr. Trump and his advisers have said they are considering a meeting with President Xi sometime in the coming weeks. Under that scenario, the Trump-Xi meeting would effectively act as the deadline for a deal. American officials want that session to take place in the U.S."
Financial Times reports, "China has jailed disgraced general Fang Fenghui for life for bribery, state media reported on Wednesday, sending a reminder to officials and the military to toe the line ahead of a national meeting. The sentence for Fang, 67, comes two weeks ahead of the opening of the National People's Congress, where president Xi Jinping will face questions over his handling of an economic slowdown and frictions with the US. Formerly the chief of the joint staff People's Liberation Army and an ally of previous president Hu Jintao, Fang is the latest in a number of military officers who have been jailed or died as Mr Xi consolidates power over the military. He was first detained in August 2017. The Xinhua news agency did not give details of the evidence against Fang. It said he had obtained large sums of unknown origin, and that his assets have been confiscated."