For the first time since July, top trade negotiators from the U.S. and China were back at it Thursday, trying to hammer out a deal to end a bruising 15-month trade war between the world's two biggest economies.
President Trump, in an attempt to dispel numerous reports the talks were off to a bad start even before they began, tweeted: "Big day of negotiations with China.
They want to make a deal, but do I?
I meet with the Vice Premier tomorrow at the White House." Optimism further was fueled by reports from Chinese state news agency Xinhua, quoting head negotiator Vice Premier Liu He as saying China is willing to reach an agreement on matters that both sides care about in order to prevent further escalation.
That's a much different tone from earlier reports out of Beijing, which suggested Liu was so disturbed that he was planning to leave Washington on Thursday after just one day of talks.
The mood around the discussions soured earlier this week when the U.S. government put 28 Chinese public security bureaus, technology and surveillance firms on a blacklist over allegations of human rights abuses against China's minority Muslim population.
The State Department went a step further and slapped visa restrictions on Chinese officials.
China has threatened to slap tit-for-tat travel restrictions on U.S. nationals tied to "anti-China" groups, sources told Reuters.
And Beijing remains upset about the ban against any U.S. entity doing business with China's Hauwei, the world's biggest telecoms gear maker.
Here's a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Thursday: (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN, GENG SHUANG, SAYING: "I wish to stress once again, the relevant actions from the U.S. side are neither ethical nor glorious.
They also violate the market principle that the U.S. always flaunts.
China urges the U.S. to stop its unreasonable suppression and sanctions on Chinese companies, including Huawei, treat Chinese companies fairly, justly and without discrimination and do more towards promoting the healthy and steady development in Sino-U.S. trade cooperation and not (to do) the opposite." But there could be some positive movements.
The White House will soon permit some U.S. companies to supply non-sensitive components to Huawei, according to the New York Times.
And China this week announced it will buy even more U.S. soybeans and pork.
Meanwhile, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce official told Reuters there's a possibility negotiators could reach a currency agreement, in exchange for a delay in another round of tariffs.
Punitive tariffs on another $250 billion worth of Chinese-made goods are set to go into effect next week, which would mean nearly every Chinese export to U.S. shores would be hit, including many consumer goods that have so far been left out of the trade war.