Trump predicts 'difficult' Chinese meeting

On Thursday, Trump tweeted that the upcoming meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, "will be a very hard one", Efe news reported.

In Thursday's tweet, Trump said the highly anticipated meeting, which is also expected to cover differences over North Korea and China's strategic ambitions in the South China Sea, "will be a very hard one". "American companies must be prepared to look at other alternatives". The U.S. side is also expected to criticize Beijing for its pursuit of expansive claims in the South China Sea.

Kerry Brown, a professor of Chinese studies at Britain's King's College, said although this meeting "will not clear all the ambiguities up" in the Asia-Pacific, "at least it starts to clear away some and clarifies where Xi and Trump agree and where they do not".

Earlier, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said that "40 per cent of China's trade surplus with the United States came from USA companies in China".

Holding the summit at Mar-a-Lago rather than in Washington offers a relaxed setting for the leaders to get to know each other - but perhaps more informal than China wanted, one expert said. "Such cooperation will deliver win-win outcomes for both sides".

Ken Jarrett, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and a former diplomat said Mr Trump's tweets were "significant in that they are a curtain raiser". But in the longer term, perhaps not.

"That said, no one should be under the illusion this will create a personal bond that overrides different world views and national interests".

The two countries have been here before: Xi came to the United States soon after taking office for what was billed as a "shirt-sleeves summit" with President Obama at the Sunnylands estate in California in 2013.

Then, Xi declined to stay at Sunnylands, choosing instead a nearby hotel for fear of being bugged. The meeting is scheduled on Friday, next week at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Xi, however, is unlikely to join Trump on the links.

"Both leaders have very strong personalities and lots of ideas".

The dollar has strengthened against major global currencies over the past few sessions, with an index tracking the USA currency against a basket of major rivals climbing for the fourth straight session to 100.59.

"What does Trump want?"

It is the same Florida resort where Trump hosted and played golf with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in February.

Avory Goldstein, a politics professor at the University of Pennsylvania, said the Xi-Trump meeting is set to "lay out a general roadmap" for the constructive and cooperative ties between Beijing and Washington. "Therefore we can definitely let him have that victory".

However, his remarks during his first visit as Secretary of State to Beijing earlier this month were widely seen as a mellowed position towards China.

Chinese companies went on a multi-billion-dollar shopping spree a year ago, snapping up U.S. companies from insurance giant Genworth Financial to Hollywood studio Legendary.

"This also helps ameliorate the trade imbalance between China and the United States", he said.

China-US trade in goods amounted to Dollars 519.6 billion in 2016. But China's Foreign Ministry likes to cite an estimate from the U.S. "This is not our policy", Zheng said. The report also brought up longstanding complaints about online piracy of movies, books, music, video games and software in China as well as a ban on USA beef that has been in place since 2003.

The theory of the Thucydides Trap describes the bad scenario of China and the United States going to war to compete for global supremacy. "Look, can we change the way North Korea thinks? No". Security issues in general could act as an even greater fly in the ointment than trade.

During his campaign for president, Trump complained frequently about China's trade practices, threatening to impose tough import tariffs on Chinese goods and promising to label the country a currency manipulator. "The key thing is how they talk through the issues once they are in the meeting". "Xi should hear that loud and clear".

Trump administration officials say the need for China to do more to rein in the nuclear and missile programs of its neighbor and ally North Korea will top the agenda, along with trade. The US and Europe are resisting, arguing China is not a market economy and it heavily subsidises some industries. "It can't be an ask, it must be a demand".

The Xi-Trump meeting is of vital significance to a world troubled by rising anti-globalization sentiments, raging populism, a weak recovery and lingering unconventional threats like refugees, terrorism and global warming. If he fails to take this issue on directly, he's open to the charge of treating our potential adversaries better than our friends.

  • Larry Hoffman