William Zarit, the chairman of the US Chamber of Commerce in China, said it would be a disappointment if the latest round of talks continued to focus on the trade deficit or prioritised the needs of certain sectors “without getting to the essence of the difference in our systems”.

In its latest white paper on American business in China released on Wednesday, the chamber said “China’s economic development has progressed along a unique path as a product of historical tradition, technological context and government intervention”.