Donald Trump: Only time will tell on US-China trade

Paterniano Del Favero
Aprile 21, 2017

Chinese state media on Saturday cheered the meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping as one that showed the world that confrontation between the two powers was not inevitable.

On the night of the Chinese President's arrival, a USA airstrike on an airbase in Syria was launched on Thursday in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack.

Along with its rapidly advancing nuclear and long-range missile capabilities, the North has its artillery and short-range missiles trained on Seoul, the capital of USA ally South Korea and a city of more than 10 million people.

He has also attacked China for taking jobs that could otherwise go to Americans. The accusation had formed a basis of Trump's argument for lost American jobs, on the grounds that an undervalued currency was boosting Chinese exports and leading to artificially low prices, all at USA manufacturers' expense.

"There are great differences between the Syria situation and the Korean peninsula situation", Wang said, noting North Korea's conventional military capability to strike back at South Korea in the event of US military action.

Although there is a near consensus that the Trump government can't use military options against the North for fear of enormous collateral damage, Trump would be put under pressure to disprove he would be as toothless as his predecessor, Obama, was.

Such closer cooperation could include tighter enforcement of worldwide trade sanctions - nearly all of North Korea's trade passes through China - along with a crackdown on the North's ability to use the global financial system and heavy punishments or exclusion from the financial world for those who deal with the North.

Ahead of the Thursday night dinner with their wives, Trump said he and Xi already had had a long discussion and had "developed a friendship", and then joked, "I have gotten nothing, absolutely nothing". "But going it alone means going it with lots of other nations'".

Although China is not implicated in the Syrian war, Trump will have been keen to appear resolute and decisive as the rivals size each other up and spar over trade and North Korea.

"We will bolster up in every way our capability for self-defence to cope with the USA evermore reckless moves for a war and defend ourselves with our own force", it said. -Russian relationship has reached an "all-time low" amid differences over Syria.

The president is spending the weekend at his Florida resort after the two-day meetings with Mr Xi. He and Putin talked on the phone last week after a deadly subway bombing in the Russian city of St. Petersburg. In an unexpected move, China abstained rather than joining traditional ally Russian Federation in vetoing a resolution that would have condemned the chemical weapons attack in a northern Syrian town last week.

The two leaders were joined Thursday evening by United States first lady and former model Melania Trump and Peng Liyuan - a celebrated folk singer whom Trump hailed as a "great, great celebrity".

On North Korea, Trump didn't outline any concessions China was offering apart from the coal cutoff, which was announced two months ago. Short of preemptive attacks, the USA can gather its strategic assets closer to the Korean Peninsula to put the North on the defensive and reduce China's arbitrary right of way.

Tensions have been even higher than usual over the past few weeks because annual war games between the USA and South Korean militaries are underway. 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.

Their comments were echoed by a front-page commentary in the overseas edition of the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily, which said the meeting established the tone for the development of U.S.

Tillerson said the two leaders noted the urgency of the threat of North Korea's weapons program.

Some Democrats had supported Trump's earlier position on China. "When the president fails to label them a currency manipulator, he gives them a green light to steal our jobs and wealth time and time again".

The White House said Trump also stressed to Xi the importance of creating "reciprocal market access" that did not disadvantage American workers.

The president expressed those views in an interview with The Wall Street Journal in which he leaves open the possibility of re-nominating Janet Yellen for a second four-year term as Federal Reserve chair.

In the interview, Trump said, "I do like a low-interest rate policy, I must be honest with you".

Associated Press writers Josh Boak in Washington and Christopher Bodeen and Gerry Shih in Beijing contributed to the report.

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