"If the USA introduces trade sanctions including tariff increases, all economic and trade achievements negotiated by the two parties so far will be void", said a Chinese government statement issued by the official Xinhua news agency.
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross arrived in Beijing today as he seeks to persuade Chinese officials to import significantly more North American goods and remove structural barriers even as the USA faces pushback over new tariff threats imposed on some of its closest allies.
At the same time as negotiators focus on technical steps to reduce the USA deficit, Trump's swerve has rattled Beijing as it raises the possibility that any agreement made could be simply torn up by the president.
The planned U.S. trade sanctions on Beijing include restrictions on Chinese investment, export controls and 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion in tech goods.
Mr Trump is pressing Beijing to narrow its politically volatile trade surplus with the United States, which reached a record $US375.2 billion ($495.7 billion) previous year.
The United States and China seemed to have reached a breakthrough previously, only for that agreement to come quickly undone.
Last week the White House announced it would impose curbs on Chinese investment and purchases of US high-tech goods and on visas for Chinese students. Critics say that the deal risks making the USA a supplier of raw materials to fuel China's expansion and plans to dominate high-tech manufacturing.
"Chinese officials know these talks are precarious but may underestimate the domestic political cost Trump now sees in lifting the ZTE ban without major concessions from China", said Andrew Gilholm, director of China analysis at Control Risks, a political and security consulting firm.
On the Chinese side, officials including Commerce Minister Zhong Shan, Central Bank Governor Yi Gang, Vice Agricultural Minister Han Jun, and Li Fanrong, vice minister of national energy administration, accompanied Liu in the talks, according to a media pool report.
"The meetings focused on reducing the United States' trade deficit by facilitating the supply of agricultural and energy products to meet China's growing consumption needs, which will help support growth and employment in the United States", it said.
During a meeting at a Canadian ski resort, top officials from six of the world's largest economies - Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom - took the rare step of asking US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to convey their "unanimous concern and disappointment" to Trump about the metal tariffs decision. This move set of a heated tit-for-tat tariff battle, but also brought the two countries to the negotiating table on a solution to the tension.
Earlier, China responded to Trump's tariff threat by saying if it went ahead, Beijing would retaliate by raising import duties on a $50 billion list of American goods including soybeans and small aircraft.
He says steel tariffs will protect United States steelmakers, which he says are vital to national security.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire even referred to the bloc as G6+1 as an indication of the deepening rift. But change technology tactics that are China's path to prosperity and its rightful place as a global leader?
China was also ruffled by the imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminum.
In recent weeks, there has been a series of edicts, then reversals, followed by reversals of reversals from the Trump administration regarding its stance on China and whether it will impose punitive tariffs on Chinese goods.
As part of the new purchases, China would import larger amounts of United States soybeans, corn, natural gas, crude oil, coal, and more, according to the Journal.