Liu He, director of the General Office of the Central Leading Group for Financial and Economic Affairs, met with senior U.S. economic officials, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, for in-depth trade talks before wrapping up his USA trip on Saturday.
Liu traveled to Washington this week as trade tensions between the world's two largest economies continued to mount.
China's military spending, already the world's second-highest behind the United States, is due to rise 8% to 1.1 trillion yuan (£125bn) as Beijing prepares to launch its second aircraft carrier and develop stealth fighters and advanced missiles, according to Mr Li's report.
The comments were made as the recently announced intention of the U.S. to impose tariffs has heightened global concerns over potential trade confrontations, particularly those between the world's two largest economies.
China's foreign ministry said Friday that Liu will exchange views with US officials on issues of mutual concern, without revealing more details. In January, he took his first foray into tariff measures by placing charges on imported washing machines and solar panels.
Wang Yi, China's foreign affairs minister, said on Saturday that the US's decision to impose tariffs on "reasonable steel and aluminium exports in the name of harming national security is groundless", China Business Journal reported.
The metal tariffs could end up doing most harm to United States allies like South Korea, Japan, Germany, Taiwan and Brazil.
Hiroshige Seko, Japan's trade and industry minister, said at a news conference, "We don't think imports from Japan, an ally, have any effect at all on USA national security". While previous administrations have put their efforts into trying to open China's markets to greater exports, with limited success, Trump administration officials have voiced a much greater willingness to limit American imports of Chinese goods. Though he promised to narrow the yawning US trade deficit, it reached $566 billion last year, a 12.1 percent increase over 2016 and the highest mark in nine years. "We expect USA major trade partners' reaction to be moderate, including by taking cases to the WTO". And Chinese officials want to preserve the overall ability of Chinese companies to continue investing in the United States.
"This dialogue is very useful, constructive and helpful", said a person familiar with Chinese policymaking, adding that on the metals tariffs: "We are quite prudent". On Thursday, Trump said the U.S. would impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent for aluminum. It pledges to prevent Beijing from disrupting global trade.
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