Chinese state media cheer Xi-Trump meeting, say confrontation not inevitable

Jerome Frank
April 12, 2017

Tillerson's comments come as one of Trump's security aides told Fox News on Sunday that the president has asked officials to provide a full range of options when it comes to North Korea's nuclear issue.

"Trump's attack on Syria is unlikely to have any significant effect on a North Korea that is already well versed in the threat posed by the United States", said Joel Wit, a senior fellow at the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University.

On the night of the Chinese president's arrival, a USA airstrike on an airbase in Syria was launched in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the two sides agreed to speed up trade talks to help close a lopsided imbalance in China's favor, a common campaign-trail complaint of Trump's.

On trade issues, Trump called for China to "level the playing field" for American workers, stressing the need for reciprocal market access.

But the two days of talks at Trump's private estate in Florida were expected to focus on what Trump has described as China's unfair trade practices and inadequate efforts to halt North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile program.

Last year Mr. Trump said China had "raped the US" and vowed to brand the superpower a currency manipulator.

U.S. President Donald Trump is considering an executive order to launch a trade investigation that could lead to supplemental duties in certain product categories, a Trump administration official told Reuters.

North Korea has been pursuing its nuclear and missile programs at an unprecedented pace since past year, with an aim to expand its deterrence against Washington and diversify its line-up of nuclear-equipped missiles, another expert said.

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The visit was overshadowed by the missile barrage aimed at Syria, announced shortly after Trump and Xi wrapped up dinner Thursday night.

During Xi's two-day trip to the southeastern US coastal town of Palm Beach, the leaders of the world's top two economies compared notes on a wide range of topics for more than seven hours altogether and agreed to expand win-win cooperation and manage differences on the basis of mutual respect.

On Thursday night, conservative USA news media painted the Syria hit as a bold but calculated warning to China.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) and his USA counterpart Donald Trump (L) hold the second round of talks in the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, the United States, April 7, 2017.

"It seems that both countries have understood the importance of how essential a smooth transition needs to be, and not just for the two countries involved here, but really for the entire world over", it said. "For the peace and stability of the world, we will also fulfill our historical responsibility". The strikes were retaliation against Syrian President Bashar Assad for a chemical weapons attack against civilians caught up in his country's long civil war.

Syria denies it carried out the attack.

While China has clearly lost patience with Pyongyang's nuclear provocations, it is extremely wary of any response that might bring about North Korea's collapse and chaos on its doorstep.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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