Upcoming meeting with Xi to be hard

The first meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, set to take place at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida next week, will be "very hard", Trump said Thursday evening.

The first of the two orders Mr Trump will sign calls for completion of a large-scale report to identify "every form of trade abuse and every non-reciprocal practice that now contributes to the USA trade deficit", said commerce secretary Wilbur Ross.

"American companies must be prepared to look at other alternatives".

Xi and Trump will hold a two-day summit at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on 6 April. But we have big problems, and - I mean, everything from the South China Sea, to trade, to North Korea.

Ross said the report would not focus extensively on currency manipulation, which is under the purview of the U.S. Treasury Department, despite Trump's campaign rhetoric.

"We can't continue to allow China to rape our country, and that's what they're doing", Trump said during a rally in Fort Wayne, Ind., last summer, when he floated a 45 percent tariff on Chinese goods.

He also endorsed the "One China" policy, which has governed the fragile relations between the United States, China and Taiwan for decades, after questioning its legitimacy shortly after his election.

Relations between China and the USA under former President Barack Obama were strained by issues including China's island-building in waters surrounding global shipping lanes in the South China Sea, allegations of cyberhacking and a US policy rebalance to Asia.

"While China has begun to take steps to address steel excess capacity, these steps have been inadequate to date and even fewer efforts have been taken by China in aluminum and other sectors", USTR said in the report.

Su Ge, president of the China Institute of International Studies, said China and the U.S. can expand interests and focus on cooperation, as they are both permanent members of the UN Security Council.

"China does not seek trade surplus and it is not our intention to stimulate exports through competitive currency devaluation, it is not our policy", the Chinese minister added.

Asked about the upcoming talks between the two leaders, Ross said, "The United States is about the least protectionist of the major countries and China is one of the most protectionist".

During the presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly railed against the trade imbalance between the United States and China. He and First Lady Melania Trump will host Xi Jinping and Madame Peng Liyuan here on April 6 and 7. It demonstrates the great importance China attaches to building a forward-looking partnership with Finland, Lu said.

Mr Ross said officials will have 90 days to produce a country-by-country, product-by-product report that will serve as the basis of future decision-making by the administration on trade-related issues.

Zheng said relations between the two countries are based on "mutual benefit" and that Chinese investment in the U.S. has created jobs in the North American country.

"The deployment of the THAAD system will definitely not make (South Korea) any safer".

Lu referred to the fact that the bilateral commodity trade volume reached $519.6 billion previous year, more than 200 times the figure in 1979, when the two countries forged diplomatic ties.

"It's better to meet earlier than late from a strategic perspective-especially an earlier meeting can help shape his China policy", Ni said.

  • Zachary Reyes