Trump urges China's Xi to work 'hard' and fast on N. Korea

Trump urges China's Xi to work 'hard' and fast on N. Korea

Pulling out his presidential pen, Trump has launched trade investigations into steel and aluminum imports and alleged Chinese theft of United States intellectual property.

To his frustration, however, Xi has proved adept at taking incremental steps while always stopping short of the more punishing measures that the White House believes would truly threaten the North Korean regime and force it to scrap its nuclear arsenal.

Donald Trump and Xi Jinping put their professed friendship to the test today as the least popular USA president in decades and the newly empowered Chinese leader met for tough talks on trade and North Korea. That meeting will be followed by a separate meeting with a delegation of business leaders.

"I do believe there's a solution to that, as do you", Trump said, referring to Xi, according to Reuters.

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

The Chinese foreign ministry on Wednesday insisted that Beijing had fully and strictly implemented UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea, but said it would investigate if there were activities that contravene resolutions.

A dinner has been organised inside the Forbidden City for Trump and the First Lady - an honour not granted to any US President since the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Trump may find himself on the back foot, says Matthew Pennington of the Associated Press.

Meanwhile, U.S. and Chinese companies on Wednesday signed business deals the two sides valued at $9 billion during the presidential visit in a tradition aimed at blunting criticism of Beijing's trade practices.

Some in the USA business community have expressed worry that contract wins could come at the expense of resolving long-standing complaints over market access restrictions in China.

Instead of pointing the finger at Beijing for exacerbating trade disputes, Trump blamed past U.S. administrations "for allowing this trade deficit to take place and to grow".

During a recent trip to Washington, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong nicely summarized the dilemma many in the region face because of a "radically different approach" under Trump. Our trade deficit (with China) is massive.

Precise details of the agreements weren't immediately available, however, and many are said to have been in the works long before Trump was elected.

In a speech on US-Indian relations last month, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson used the Indo-Pacific term 15 times, and criticised China for undermining the global rule-based order with its South China Sea actions and "predatory" infrastructure financing deals in neighbouring countries.

Abe first proposed his Indo-Pacific strategy as an alternative to China's Belt and Road trade and infrastructure initiative a year ago, inviting India and Australia to join, while the Trump administration too has repeatedly used the term in recent weeks.

The US president "has shown that he understands that negotiations are not only about the particular issue being discussed, they will impact future negotiations and actions for years to come, and across numerous policy areas", Leader noted.

During Xi's stay, Trump filled him in about a U.S. airstrike on a Syrian military installation over "the most lovely piece of chocolate cake". "I consider him a friend".

Despite spending two days behind the so-called "Great Firewall" of the authoritative Chinese government, Trump still has access to Twitter - a luxury that the majority of the people of China will never know. "His views are different on things, but they're pretty similar on trade".

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