Published: Fri, April 07, 2017
Business | By Cristina Jennings

Trump says China should step up on NKorea

Trump says China should step up on NKorea

North Korea is high on the agenda of the first summit later today between US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, with Washington pressing Beijing to do more to rein in Pyongyang. Xi's visit is likely to test how far the USA president will actually go now that he is in the White House.

The Chinese official's visit will also come as the top nuclear envoys of South Korea, the USA and Japan agreed to closely cooperate in coping with North Korea's latest missile test and jointly brace for additional provocations.

Senior Chinese officials have publicly warned the Trump administration that Taiwan is not a bargaining chip; it is a core national interest, and it will be defended as such. Trump took a congratulatory phone call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen following his election, a dramatic break with decades of protocol. Bannon, the White House chief strategist, was quoted as saying previous year that the U.S. would certainly go to war with China over the South China Sea within a decade.

While on the campaign trail Trump didn't hold back on China, which he accused of stealing American jobs and playing dirty to get trade advantages.

A group of 39 bipartisan senators urged President Trump in an open letter Wednesday to address the topic, saying that while China lifted its ban on US beef last September (which was set in place in 2003 in response to cases of mad cow disease) there have still been many "technical barriers" stopping USA beef from gaining access to China's market.

The troubled state of ties was reinforced by the detention of Taiwanese pro-democracy activist Lee Ming-che during a personal trip to China last month.

"Clean energy is the next, largest global market", said Barbara Finamore, Asia director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, a USA -based environmental group.

Xi and his wife were greeted by the president and first lady Melania Trump at the Mar-a-Lago estate before making their way to dinner.

International Association of Machinists President Robert Martinez said the United States continued to lose manufacturing jobs to the Chinese, saying: "It's time to bring our jobs home now".

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A second White House official said Tuesday that the topic may come up, though there was not expected to be any resolution. Did North Korea really want to steal the show ahead of the Trump-Xi summit? It's the perception, analysts suggest .

The introductory meetings will cover topics from trade to North Korea's recent nuclear tests.

According to Trump, the U.S. government is going to deal with the North Korea nuclear threat issue alone if China does not make any move.

As a candidate, Mr. Trump repeatedly blasted China, accusing Beijing of unfair trade practices that he equated to "rape" and "theft", reports CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan.

Xi has bones to pick with Trump, too.

President Trump is set to wrap up a week's worth of meetings with world leaders by undergoing what will arguably the most crucial diplomatic test of his presidency so far. "Every other country lives on devaluation", Trump said earlier this year according to Reuters.

Yet the world's most important worldwide relationship could hinge above all on what kind of rapport Trump and Xi can build. "I think obviously North Korea will be a major component of the conversations".

Asian stocks were mostly lower Thursday, as the region nervously watched for market-moving news from the first meeting between the US and Chinese leaders.

In a tweet last week, he highlighted China's massive trade imbalance with the U.S. - over $310 billion a year ago - as a serious problem that could make his upcoming talks with Xi "difficult".

Leading up to the summit, Trump escalated his attacks on China for taking and contributing to the hollowing out of the US manufacturing sector. "They understand the politics of the business relationship".

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