On Sunday, US President Donald Trump shattered hopes that a deal to end the trade war with China was imminent, complaining that the negotiations were moving too slowly and most importantly threatening to raise tariffs on Chinese imports as early as Friday.

Trump's tweets were followed on Monday by statements from Robert Lighthizer, the US trade representative, and Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury secretary, accusing China of retreating on its commitments, further inflaming the talks.

But Liu He, China's vice-premier, is still expected in Washington for further negotiations on Thursday and Friday, in what could be the biggest showdown yet

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The truce

The confusion

The launch

The letter

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The spats

The reprieve

The warnings

The delay

The ultimatum