Taiwan: US relations won't be harmed by Trump-Xi meeting

Asian stocks were mostly lower Thursday, as the region nervously watched for market-moving news from the first meeting between the US and Chinese leaders.

The missile fired at a land-based facility near the North's eastern coastal city of Sinpo, flew a distance of about 60 kilometers, but "did not pose a threat to North America", the U.S. Pacific Command said. On the agenda will be everything from trade to North Korea's nuclear threat.

In a phone call with Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the two leaders had agreed that North Korea's latest ballistic missile launch was "a unsafe provocation and a serious threat".

USA officials say Mr. Trump wants Beijing to do far more than it has so far to contain its hostile, economically dependent neighbor, a push that has eluded Washington for years while Pyongyang has moved closer and closer to developing nuclear-tipped missiles capable of reaching the US mainland. The North may also be preparing for another nuclear test.

Nothing is supposed to go off script for President Xi Jinping in what is the equivalent of an election year in one-party China. "All options are on the table for us".

The White House said Trump "made clear that the United States will continue to strengthen its ability to deter and defend itself and its allies with the full range of its military capabilities". "Both agreed to push forward the deployment of THAAD by USA forces in Korea".

Kim Hong-kyun, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs at the Foreign Ministry here, also had separate phone calls with the top nuclear negotiators of the U.S. and Japan - Joseph Yun and Kenji Kanasugi - to review the newest missile test and coordinate responses to Pyongyang's additional provocations, the ministry said. That, along with his comments this week in response to Pyongyang's most recent missile launch, shows that Trump hopes to win some leverage on this issue ahead of the meeting with Xi.

Late last month, in a warm-up to this week's meeting, Trump Tweet-lashed China for doing "little to help" rein in Pyongyang and he has since warned the USA is prepared to go it alone in bringing the North to heel. The devastation could be dramatic. China vehemently opposes THAAD, which it fears could be used for U.S. espionage on its activities as much as for targeting North Korean missiles.

"The key about using leverage in negotiation is that you have to be credible", Campbell said.

Trump, who has said global warming is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese to hurt the USA economy, signed an executive order last week that aims to roll back Obama-era policies regulating carbon emissions.

Historically, China has been sensitive to other great powers' military activity near its borders.

While Trump earlier said he didn't feel "bound" by existing USA policy toward the self-governing island that China considers part of its territory, he later reaffirmed Washington's commitment to the four-decade-old "One China" policy, smoothing the way for a February phone call with Xi. Within weeks, Trump reaffirmed Washington's commitment to the 4-decade-old "one China" policy, smoothing the way for a February phone call with Xi.

"If we are serious about solving this issue, we need to tackle the root of it", she said at a regular news briefing.

Yet at the current time, the Chinese have been reluctant to apply too much pressure on North Korea for fear the regime will collapse, create a surge of refugees into China, and ultimately lead to a unified Korea on its border protected by the powerful US military (similar to the inclusion of a unified Germany into the expanded NATO alliance in Europe after the Cold War ended). Earlier this year, he called Beijing "grand champions of currency manipulation", asserting the country is keeping its exchange rate artificially low in order to secure export advantage.

  • Leroy Wright