Trump once trashed China. Now, they're friends

09 November, 2017, 01:53 | Author: Pamela Mathis
  • Trump once trashed China. Now, they're friends

It was the start of what China's ambassador to the USA calls a "state visit plus" - a highly choreographed blend of stagecraft and statecraft, created to highlight the evolving chemistry between Presidents Trump and Xi Jinping.

And he was welcomed with open arms: Trump's reception in the Chinese capital on Wednesday was complete with Chinese schoolchildren on the tarmac waving US and Chinese flags and others later uttering "I love you" to the US President. Mr. Xi said Mr. Trump's visit would yield "positive and important" results, Xinhua reported.

President Donald Trump nodded appreciatively as China's Xi Jinping showcased a centuries-old temple in Beijing's Forbidden City.

Before arriving in Beijing, Trump used an address to the South Korean National Assembly in Seoul to deliver a stern message to China, North Korea's biggest trade partner.

While Trump condemned the authorities, he also made overtures to leader Kim Jong-un, who has overseen rapid advances in its weapons technology.

Trump and First Lady Melania were greeted at the airport by a military band before they headed to the Forbidden City to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan.

"We can't continue to allow China to rape our country and that's what they're doing". The accusations of alleged currency manipulation, restriction of market access and intellectual property theft by China have been subdued as well. It is rare for any world leader, particularly for USA presidents, to be invited to dine inside the Forbidden City. The Trump administration has stopped criticizing Beijing for a failure to put pressure on Pyongyang over its controversial drive to obtain nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles, and has instead been praising China's contribution. At least, he notes, the two countries' presidents "have established a good working relationship".

In the 10 months of his presidency, the Trump administration has laid the foundation for him to take the kinds of strong retaliatory measures that would leave Chinese officials fuming.

"You cannot support, you cannot supply, you cannot accept", Trump said.

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At the start of the day, Trump abandoned a surprise visit to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that divides the two Koreas because of bad weather, leaving him "pretty frustrated" according to the White House.

But the Trump administration continues to believe China can and must do more to leverage its influence over the North Korean regime, which trades nearly exclusively with China.

China's trade surplus with the United States eased slightly in October but still remains elevated, official data showed November 8, as U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in Beijing for what are expected to be thorny economic talks.

The Trump administration sees Beijing as the key to controlling North Korea, which depends on China for its economic survival and 90 percent of its trade.

Whether a country registers a trade surplus or deficit is largely decided by its role in the global division of labour and its development stage.

Trump said afterward he's "having a great time" in China.

Hours after calling North Korea a "cruel dictatorship" during a speech to South Korea's parliament, Trump wrote that Pyongyang "has interpreted America's past restraint as weakness".

Both issues are prioritized in China as well.

Two have overflown Japan, and Pyongyang says it can mount a nuclear warhead on a rocket with the USA mainland within range.

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