President Donald Trump agreed Saturday to postpone US tariff hikes in a fight over Beijing's technology policy by 90 days while the two sides negotiate.
China yesterday appeared to try to ease concerns by saying it would "immediately" implement measures agreed under the truce.
While at the conclusion of Saturday's working dinner, both the US and Chinese delegations said that what amounted to a trade war "truce" between the leaders had been reached, the messaging from the White House that followed seemed to only muddy the waters.
"Then, in the next 90 days, we will follow a clear timetable and roadmap to negotiate on issues such as intellectual property right protection, tech cooperation, market access and trade balance", he said, stressing the consultations should be based on meeting the interests of both parties.
But the spokesman did not provide more specific details about what actions China would take.
After the meeting, Washington agreed to hold off on Trump's threat to raise tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports to 25 percent beginning January 1, leaving them at the current 10 percent rate.
Wang said there was a 90-day deadline for China and the USA to negotiate structural reforms to China's economy, and that 10% tariffs will be raised to 25% if they don't achieve that agreement.
The White House has said China agreed to purchase a "very substantial" amount of agricultural, energy, industrial and other products to reduce the yawning trade gap.
USA imports from China rose 4.4 percent while exports fell 6.7 percent as China's retaliatory tariffs have led to reduced exports of United States soy beans.
The two sides will negotiate structural changes to forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, cyber-intrusions and cybertheft, services and agriculture, according to the White House.
Gao's briefing came hours after the trade detente risked being rattled by the arrest in Canada of a top executive from Chinese telecom giant Huawei at the request of the United States.
"Unless extended, they will end 90 days from the date of our wonderful and very warm dinner with President Xi in Argentina", Trump tweeted.