US President Donald Trump said that he was personally holding up a trade deal with China and that he would not complete the agreement unless Beijing returns to terms negotiated earlier. “It’s me right now that’s holding up the deal,” Trump said. “And we’re going to either do a great deal with China or we’re not going to do a deal at all.” Last month, the US accused China of reneging on provisions of a tentative agreement, bringing talks to a halt. “We had a deal with China, and unless they go back to that deal I have no interest,” Trump said. Trump’s comments came a day after he threatened to raise tariffs on China if President Xi Jinping did not meet him at the upcoming Group of 20 summit in Japan. Trump told reporters that he could impose tariffs of 25 per cent or “much higher than 25 per cent” on US$300 billion in Chinese goods. Table for two? Trump and Xi set for formal dinner in Japan, source says On Tuesday in Beijing, a foreign ministry official demurred. “We have noted that the US publicly stated many times that it looks forward to arranging a meeting between the Chinese and US presidents on the sidelines of the G20 summit. If we have this information we will release it in due time,” spokesman Geng Shuang said. Trump said again on Tuesday that he expected to meet Xi at the summit at the end of the month. The G20 on June 28-29 is one of the last chances for Trump and Xi to head off a conflict between the world’s biggest economies that appears to be worsening by the day. Besides tit-for-tat tariff increases, the US has blacklisted Huawei Technologies and threatened other major Chinese tech companies, while Beijing is drawing up a list of “unreliable entities” that could face restrictions. The brinkmanship puts Xi – China’s strongest leader in decades – in perhaps the toughest spot of his six-year presidency. If he caves to Trump’s threats, he risks looking weak at home. If he declines the meeting, he must accept the economic costs that come with Trump possibly extending the trade conflict through the 2020 presidential elections. The arguments for Xi to meet Trump mostly revolve around the need to prevent greater economic damage. China’s imports tumbled in May, underscoring domestic economic weakness that could hurt global growth. For China, 25 per cent tariffs could result in a drag of nearly 1 per cent on growth by 2021 if they remain in place, according to Bloomberg Economics. Xi, however, also has reasons to avoid a meeting with Trump. China has repeatedly said it will not be bullied or pressured into negotiating, and Xi could look as if he is giving Trump a victory by meeting him after an explicit threat. Since talks collapsed, China’s state media has stepped up its use of nationalist rhetoric. The Communist Party’s flagship People’s Daily newspaper ran a commentary last month saying China would never make decisions that “give up power and humiliate the country”, a phrase used in school textbooks to describe the treaties China signed mostly in the 19th century.