Trump presses China on North Korea and trade in Beijing
BEIJING – Reuters
U.S. President Donald Trump pressed China to do more on the North Korean nuclear issue on Nov. 9 and said bilateral trade had been unfair to the United States, but praised President Xi Jinping’s pledge that China would be more open to foreign firms.
On North Korea, Trump said “China can fix this problem quickly and easily,” urging Beijing to cut financial links with North Korea and also calling on Russia to help.
Trump was speaking alongside Xi in the Chinese capital to announce the signing of about $250 billion in commercial deals between U.S. and Chinese firms, a display that some in the U.S. business community worry detracts from tackling deep-seated complaints about market access in China.
Xi said the Chinese economy would become increasingly open and transparent to foreign firms, including those from the United States, and welcomed U.S. companies to participate in his ambitious “Belt and Road” infrastructure-led initiative.
Trump made clear that he blamed his predecessors, not China, for the trade imbalance, and repeatedly praised Xi, calling him “a very special man”.
“But we will make it fair and it will be tremendous for both of us,” Trump said.Xi smiled widely when Trump said he does not blame China for the deficit and also when Trump said Xi gets things done.
“Of course there are some frictions, but on the basis of win-win cooperation and fair competition we hope we can solve all these issues in a frank and consultative way,” Xi said.
“Keeping opening up is our long-term strategy. We will never narrow or close our doors. We will further widen them,” he said.
China would also offer a more fair and transparent environment for foreign firms, including U.S. ones, Xi said.
Trump is pressing China to tighten the screws further on North Korea and its development of nuclear weapons.
At least modest progress is hoped for, although there are no immediate signs of a major breakthrough, a U.S. official said earlier.
Referring to Xi, Trump said: “I do believe there’s a solution to that, as do you.”Xi reiterated that China would strive for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula but offered no hint that China would change tack on North Korea, with which it fought side-by-side in the 1950-53 Korean war against U.S.-led forces.
“We are devoted to reaching a resolution to the Korean peninsula issue through dialogue and consultations,” Xi said.
In a show of the importance China puts on Trump’s first official visit, yesterday’s welcoming ceremony outside Beijing’s Great Hall of the People overlooking Tiananmen Square was broadcast live on state television - unprecedented treatment for a visiting leader.
Earlier on Nov. 9, Xi said he had a deep exchange of views with Trump and reached consensus on numerous issues of mutual concern.
“For China, cooperation is the only real choice, only win-win can lead to an even better future,” he said.