Trump Says Progress Made in US-China Relations During Xi Visit

PRESIDENT Donald Trump pressed Chinese President XiJinping to do more to curb North Korea's nuclear program and help reduce the gaping US trade deficit with Beijing in talks on Friday, even as he toned down the strident anti-China rhetoric of his election campaign.

The Republican president tweeted last week that the United States could no longer tolerate massive trade deficits and job losses and that his meeting with Xi "will be a very hard one".

Asked then whether he was formulating a new policy on Syria, Trump replied: "You'll see".

Tillerson said Xi agreed with Trump that North Korea's nuclear advances had reached a "very serious stage".

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. and China "agreed to increase cooperation and work with the global community to convince the DPRK to peacefully resolve the issue and abandon its illicit weapons programs".

"The relationship developed by President Xi and myself, I think, is outstanding, " Trump said Friday during a meeting between the two countries' delegations.

At the top of the list, according to a source briefed on Xi s plans, was a package of Chinese investments aimed at creating more than 700,000 American jobs - the same number China s regional rival Japan pledged to Trump during Prime Minister Shinzo Abe s Mar-a-Lago visit in February. Within Trump's administration, divisions remain over how to approach China.

"We have engaged in deeper understanding, and have built a trust", he said.

"On the other hand, it's also certainly possible that, based on the way that Trump presented himself during those private discussions, that Xi confirmed that this is a president that he can walk all over", says Stone Fish, "and that Trump is going to make some symbolic announcements about trade deals - but that China has a much freer hand to work in the Pacific".

"We had a long discussion already".

Nevertheless, the strikes against Assad's government in Syria - which Pyongyang considers an ally - are likely to have added weight in the North's eyes to Trump's recent threat to act unilaterally against North Korea's weapons program. Mnuchin added that "any such transaction" would have to be reviewed by the Committee on Financial Investment in the US, which can block sales of USA companies to foreign investors. DPRK stands for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

He said Trump also raised U.S.concerns about China's activities in the South China Sea.

Spicer said Trump underscored the need for China to take concrete steps to level the playing field for American workers, stressing repeatedly the need for reciprocal market access.

The Syria strike served as a backdrop for their talks, intentional or not.

White House officials have talked about getting tough with North Korea because of its expanding nuclear program, and China is helping to keep North Korea afloat. Trump told reporters the strike was in response to a nerve gas attack by the Syrian regime against civilians Tuesday. It was the first direct USA assault on the Russian-backed government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in six years of civil war. The most powerful message for the Chinese leader may have been President Trump's decision to launch USA missile strikes at Syria. They began landing at around 8:40 p.m. ET (00:40 GMT), just as the two presidents were finishing their meals. "I think that the Chinese will be expressing some anger privately to the United States".

  • Leroy Wright