The US and China have a long way to go before reaching a deal on the price of Beijing's entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO), says US Under-Secretary of Commerce Stuart Eizenstat. He said three days of bilateral talks in Geneva this week had yielded progress in some areas, but China generally still took the position it should be admitted as a developing country, which would have given it more lenient entry terms. 'Our negotiators in Geneva have had three days of bilateral consultations, and they consider those consultations have resulted in some steps forward,' he said. 'But while progress was made, we remain a long way from the finishing line.' He said progress was made in areas such as trading rights, non-tariff measures, tariffs, statutory inspections, subsidies, customs valuation and agriculture, but did not elaborate. China and its key trading partners ended informal talks yesterday in Geneva on its new proposals for WTO entry. The proposals were later opened to comments by all 130 WTO members. Mr Eizenstat said although China had asked to be considered as a market economy on matters on anti-dumping, it generally took the position it should 'come in as a developing country'. He said it was clear from the discussions that China understood more clearly the nature of United States requirements and was providing new and better information about Beijing's proposals. There was no timetable for China's entry, as the speed of this depended on its solid commitments across the board in removing tariff and non-tariff barriers. 'We want to make progress as quickly as possible, but that progress is largely in China's hands,' said Mr Eizenstat, who arrived in Hong Kong yesterday after a five-day China visit. He said the US was sensitive to problems Chinese enterprises faced in the transition from a purely socialist economy to a market-oriented one, and was prepared to take this into account. 'If I came away with one impression, it certainly is China's leadership in dealing with the state-enterprises,' he said.