"I really don't know, but I will tell you that I think China wants to make a deal", he continued.
The United States has imposed import taxes on $250 billion worth of Chinese products and China has countered by targeting $110 billion in U.S. imports.
Trump and Xi are scheduled to meet tomorrow to discuss trade amid increasing tensions between the world's top two economies.
Trump's hardline trade adviser, Peter Navarro, will attend a meeting between Trump and Xi, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters.
Trump railed against the massive USA trade deficit with China during his 2016 election campaign and after a year in office, with no sign of the gap narrowing, the U.S. president attacked the issue head-on.
U.S. companies and consumers are bearing part of the cost of the USA tariffs on China by paying higher prices for goods, and investors have cheered when the prospects for a deal have improved.More news: Manchester United's Victor Lindelof (thigh) expected to miss a month
It particularly wants to prevent exports to China of advanced technologies in areas such as artificial intelligence and robotics and has tightened rules on foreign investment in 27 sensitive sectors to stop Chinese deals. Similar proposals were blasted by conservatives as proposals to "turn the United States into a agricultural colony of China".
"We don't have to agree on all the issues and indeed that may be impossible but we need to talk". I'm open to making a deal.
New talks would focus on what both sides are calling trade "architecture", a broad term that could encompass many issues the USA has wanted Beijing to address, including intellectual property protection, coerced technology transfer, subsidies to state-owned enterprises, and even non-trade issues such as cyberespionage.
The United States has levied additional duties of between 10 percent and 25 percent on $250 billion of Chinese goods this year as punishment for what it calls China's unfair trade practices, with the 10 percent tariffs set to rise to 25 percent next year.
"The Chinese side has repeatedly stressed that the essence of Sino-U.S. economic and trade cooperation is about mutual benefit and win-win", Gao said.
US President Donald Trump headed to Argentina Thursday for a fractious weekend of G20 summitry, cancelling planned talks with Russia's leader and boasting that his trade war with China was paying off. Trump said in a Twitter post ahead of his departure for Buenos Aires. One offer, according to Chinese officials: in return for the suspension of USA tariffs, Beijing would agree to lift restrictions on China's purchases of US farm and energy products.