China Digs In on Trade Policy Ahead of Trump Summit

US President Donald Trump has predicted an upcoming meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping would be "very difficult", staking out an adversarial position ahead of the high-profile first summit between the leaders.

The US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Thursday said China can and must do more to force North Korea to halt its nuclear and missile programs.

U.S. President Donald Trump waves upon his arrival at the White House from Philadelphia, in Washington D.C., the United States, on January 26, 2017.

Xi will travel to the USA next week and will have his first face to face meeting with Trump at Mar-a-lago, the U.S. president's country club in Florida, from April 6th to 7th.

"There are big issues of national and economic security that need to get addressed, and I think there's going to be a lot on the table when it comes to that over the two days that they will talk".

Observers believe the economy and North Korea will be at the top of the agenda when the two leaders meet next week.

Trump has said in recent weeks that North Korea is one of the biggest security challenges he faces as president and has called on China to rein in Pyongyang, which USA officials believe is preparing for another nuclear test.

While he resisted acting on a campaign promise to declare China a currency manipulator on his first day in office, tensions have persisted over how the Trump administration's China policy would evolve. It said Trump and his wife, Melania, would host Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, at a dinner next Thursday.

General Electric Co Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt urged Trump on Thursday to maintain the country's economic relationship with China, saying the United States had much to gain from globalization.

Just weeks ago the summit seemed a distant possibility after Trump infuriated Beijing with suggestions he might break from the US's long-standing One China Policy, which nominally acknowledges the Asian giant's claims over Taiwan without recognizing them. For 2016, the USA exported $115.8 billion in goods but imported $462.8 billion for an annual trade deficit of $347 billion.

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson before their meeting at at the Great Hall of the People, March 19, 2017, in Beijing, China.

Mr. Trump was also forced to make a hasty retreat after trying to make Taiwan a bargaining point in USA ties with China.

Trump has spent five of the first 10 weekends of his presidency at Mar-a-Lago, but is not expected to return this weekend. "This is not our policy", Zheng told a briefing about the Xi-Trump meeting.

  • Arturo Norris