Trump, Xi meet again - in shadow of missile strikes on Syria

Congress reacts to Trump's Syria missile strike

The comments at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in the southern state of Florida were in contrast to the harsh words repeated often during Trump's presidential campaign, in which he accused China of currency manipulation and unfair trade practices that were costing U.S.jobs.

During his campaign, Trump promised to stop what he called the theft of American jobs by China and to rebuild the country's manufacturing base.

But Willy Lam, a professor at the Centre for China Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said Beijing wasn't a major player and the conflict hadn't been expected to top the agenda during discussions between Xi and Trump.

The bilateral investment treaty mentioned by Xi, talks on which began during former United States president George W. Bush's administration and resumed under former USA president Barack Obama, has received little attention since Trump took office. Last year, two-way trade reached Dollars 519.6 billion, compared to USD 2.5 billion in 1979.

Sitting across from Xi on the second day of a Florida summit overshadowed by US missile strikes in Syria overnight, Trump declared that his relationship with the Chinese leader was outstanding after they discussed trade irritants and concerns about North Korea's nuclear program.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported late Thursday that Trump will travel to China at an "early date" in 2017 but gave no details.

"We have engaged in deeper understanding, and have built a trust - a preliminary working relationship and friendship", he said.

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The post Trump and China's Xi meet as North Korea, trade tensions loom appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

Trump administration officials believe, however, that the strike could force China to take seriously Trump's threat of unilateral action against Pyongyang's nuclear program. Xi, a shrewd political operator, is unlikely to want to rock the boat ahead of a Communist Party conclave later this year that will install new leadership.

Anthony Ruggiero, an East Asia expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said China may be more willing to accommodate Trump on trade and economic issues than on regional security issues, including North Korea.

"North Korea could put biological weapons, they could put chemical weapons, they could even get some crude radioactive material- stick it on a missile and lob it at the United States. There was no kind of a package arrangement discussed to resolve this", Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said. The missile barrage enhances Trump's image as a leader willing to use US military power quickly and in a precision-strike manner - which is exactly the scenario that concerns North Korea most.

Trump also noted the importance of protecting human rights, and asked China to adhere to global norms in the seas of East Asia. "He also noted the importance of protecting human rights and other values deeply held by Americans", Spicer said. -China dialogue by putting the two presidents at the head of the forum. Right now there is a $300 billion trade deficit between the two countries and Trump has said he will go to great lengths to close it. "Absolutely nothing", he said to laughs from the delegation.

Later, they plan a business meeting and dinner at a downtown Anchorage hotel before Xi returns to the airport for the 4,000-mile trip to Beijing. He told Xi Jinping later in the evening, while allies were advised several hours before and Syria's backer Russian Federation was also forewarned to reduce the risk of escalation. Trump accepted the invitation. Xi echoed Trump's positive generalities and invited the U.S. president to visit China soon, an offer Trump accepted.

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