Trump lauds 'outstanding' relationship with Chinese leader

Jerome Frank
April 12, 2017

During the campaign, Trump had promised American voters that he would stop what he called the theft of American jobs by China.

Tillerson was briefing reporters Friday after President Donald Trump's two-day summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago. The missile strike overshadowed the summit and also increased tension between the two countries over North Korea, as Trump signaled that he's willing to take unilateral action against a regime flouting global norms.

However, whether the US would, in fact, take military action against North Korea is a different story, given the covert nature of Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs and its growing weapons capabilities that could cause "tremendous damage in the region", added Blinken, who also served as deputy national security adviser to former President Barack Obama.

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

He did not elaborate on the progress or the problems.

Ahead of the two presidents' second round of talks, senior Chinese and U.S. officials initiated two newly-installed dialogue mechanisms in economy, as well as diplomacy and security.

Trump and Xi agreed to increase cooperation and work with the worldwide community to convince North Korea to peacefully resolve the issue and dismantle its illegal nuclear and missile programmes, Spicer said, adding that the two sides had a candid discussion on regional and maritime security. "Each side also brought a senior delegation that was also able to build relationships for the work ahead", Spicer said. He said he believes that the USA and China can continue to develop the relationship, noting that it's the historic responsibility of both countries to work toward peace and stability. USA warships fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a military airfield in Syria during Trump's Thursday night dinner with Xi at Mar-a-Lago. It was the first direct US assault on the Russian-backed government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in six years of civil war. China typically sides with Russian Federation in support of Assad and opposes unilateral military action.

On Friday, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said China opposed the use of chemical weapons by any party under any circumstances but didn't comment on the USA attack.

Inside the luxurious resort Trump waxed lyrical that it was a "great honour" to host the Chinese leader, breaking the ice with a joke about his own dealmaking prowess.

"We have been treated unfairly and have made awful trade deals with China for many, many years, " Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on Thursday as he flew to Palm Beach.

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Trump's daughter, Ivanka, and her husband, Jared Kushner, who both work at the White House, also were among the dinner guests.

The presidents didn't mention the Syria attack or North Korea during their public remarks Thursday and Friday, and even steered clear of issues like trade that were supposed to dominate the summit. He had even questioned why the US should stick to the "One China" policy of recognizing only Beijing, not Taiwan, when China is not helping with the North Korea problem, though he later promised to respect the policy.

The friendly banter between the leaders belied growing tension in the relationship after Trump's public criticisms of China and his promises to extract concessions from the country on trade and North Korea.

Despite the intervention of the Syrian missile strikes, Xi got what he wanted from the trip, analysts said.

"China can be part of a new strategy to end North Korea's reckless behavior and ensure security, stability and economic prosperity in Northeast Asia", Tillerson said. The then-presidential candidate also accused China of manipulating its currency to boost exports, and threatened to impose punitive tariffs on Chinese imports as retaliation.

"President Trump made excellent preparations for our country's representatives and gave us a warm reception", Xi said before departing Mar-a-Lago, according to Chinese media. Last week, the president tweeted that his meeting with Xi would be "very hard".

He also last week signed a pair of executive orders focused on reducing the USA trade deficit, an apparent shot at China, which accounted for the vast bulk - $347 billion - of last year's $502 billion trade deficit.

China and the United States are now each other's biggest trading partner, from which the two peoples benefit a lot, Xinhua news agency quoted Xi as saying.

"They agreed to increase cooperation and work with the worldwide community to convince the DPRK to peacefully resolve the issue and abandon its illicit weapons programs", he said. The American president told reporters traveling with him to Florida that he thinks China will "want to be stepping up" in trying to deter North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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