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Rein in N.Korea, Trump tells Xi
November 10, 2017
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BEIJING: Donald Trump urged Chinese leader Xi Jinping to work hard and act fast to help resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis during talks in Beijing on Thursday, warning that “time is quickly running out.”

Speaking on the second day of a trip to Beijing marked by pomp and pageantry, Trump also decried China’s “one-sided and unfair” trade surplus with the United States but told Xi “I don’t blame China,” as the two countries signed more than $250 billion in business deals.

Xi hosted Trump at the imposing Great Hall of the People, next to Tiananmen Square, for the main event of the US president’s five-nation tour of Asia.

While the two leaders exchanged pleasantries in keeping with their professed friendship — with Trump calling Xi a “very special man” — the former property magnate made clear that he expected China to do more to rein in North Korea.

“We must act fast. And hopefully China will act faster and more effectively on this problem than anyone,” Trump said, while thanking Xi for his efforts to restrict trade with Pyongyang.

“China can fix this problem easily and quickly, and I am calling on China and your great president to hopefully work on it very hard,” the US leader said.

“I know one thing about your president: If he works on it hard, it will happen. There’s no doubt about it.”

The US administration thinks China’s economic leverage over North Korea is the key to strong-arming Pyongyang into halting its nuclear weapons and missile programmes.

Xi said the two countries reiterated their “firm commitment” to the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and the implementation of UN resolutions.

He also repeated his plea for the issue to be resolved through negotiations, saying China was ready to discuss the “pathway leading to enduring peace and stability on the peninsula.”

Washington has made no secret of its frustration at China’s massive trade surplus with the United States, but at a signing ceremony for over $250 billion in US-Chinese business deals — including $37 billion worth of planes from Boeing — Trump said he did not blame Beijing.

‘Beautiful welcome’

The trip comes as Trump faces the lowest approval ratings for a US president in seven decades, and with the one-year anniversary of his election on Wednesday spoiled by big Democrat wins in state and mayoral votes.

Xi, by contrast, cemented his status as the most powerful Chinese leader in a generation at a Communist Party congress last month, when his name was inscribed into the constitution.

On Trump’s first state visit to China, a military band played the US and Chinese anthems, ceremonial cannon fire erupted, and the two leaders reviewed a military honour guard just across from Tiananmen Square — the site of the army’s deadly crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in 1989.

Children waved US and Chinese flags at the two leaders, a day after Xi treated Trump to a tour of the Forbidden City.

Trump circumvented China’s internet censorship system to thank China for the “beautiful welcome” in a message to Xi on Twitter, which is banned in the country.

Taiwan

Xi told Trump that Taiwan is the most important and sensitive issue in Sino-US ties.

China considers democratic Taiwan to be a wayward province and integral part of its territory, ineligible for state-to-state relations, and has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under its control.

AFP/Reuters

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