United States Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers leaves the mainland today with no progress on Beijing's accession to the World Trade Organisation, leaving it unlikely to happen this year. On other subjects, he called on Beijing to work with Washington to address a growing trade imbalance. Mr Summers arrived on Saturday and met Prime Minister Zhu Rongji for two hours in the western city of Lanzhou on Sunday, before leading the US side at the Sino-US joint economic committee. He made a speech at Qinghua university yesterday. Neither side reported any progress on the WTO issue. 'Certainly, there are issues that need to be resolved,' Mr Summers said yesterday. Finance Minister Xiang Huaicheng, who co-chaired the committee, agreed with Mr Summers but said the mainland position on WTO had not changed, that it must be treated as a developing country, with a balance of rights and obligations in its accession. In Lanzhou, while agreeing that mainland accession would be good for both countries, Mr Zhu and Mr Summers merely restated their national positions, 'in a very useful exchange of views'. In his lecture at Qinghua, Mr Summers said that, while a global economy could not be complete without China, it had to be based on acceptance of global rules, which is what the WTO discussions are about. The mainland media gave perfunctory coverage to Mr Summers' visit. Diplomats said this reflected both Beijing's continuing anger at Washington's publishing on the Internet in April of details of their negotiations and Beijing's preference for conducting them in secret. The US side seems to have followed suit, giving no details of the negotiations. The principal achievement of the committee session was an agreement to establish a more extensive dialogue on financial and capital market development. Teams from the two sides, led by officials from their respective finance ministries, central banks and regulators will meet early next year to discuss developing financial and capital markets, deepening the securities markets and adopting appropriate risk management strategies. In addition, Mr Summers noted the political and economic problems caused by the mainland's trade surplus with the US. In August, the trade gap with the mainland reached US$6.87 billion, the largest monthly deficit ever recorded with a single country. 'In the past two decades, China has clearly become a major trading partner for the US and has benefited greatly from access to the United States and global markets,' Mr Summers said before the meeting with Mr Xiang. 'We will be interested in learning more about your thoughts on our respective external situations, including steps that can be taken to address the imbalance in our bilateral trade,' Mr Summers said. The US calculates that its trade deficit with the mainland will grow to $60 billion this year, hitting a new record and certain to become a growing irritant with anti-China forces in the US Congress. Mr Summers also said that he hoped to discuss 'ways that greater opening of the Chinese economy and financial sector could help support and accelerate other aspects of China's economic progress'.