Published: Sat, April 08, 2017
Science | By Boyd Webster

Chinese leader arrives for first face-to-face with Trump

Chinese leader arrives for first face-to-face with Trump

Xi arrived in Florida for two days of meetings at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort.

Trump and senior officials hosted Xi for dinner at his estate Thursday night.

Trump hopes to use the talks to persuade and pressure China to use more of its leverage as the main provider of food and energy for the impoverished North to bring the provocative regime under control, and to reduce massive trade deficit with China.

"It's going to be very interesting".

"I think it much more likely has to do with the cycle of iPhone shipments, which actually has a lot to do with the trade deficit, with the lunar New Year holiday in China, and also the fact that growth around the world has generally picked up a little bit over where it was, say, 12 months ago - and so all of that certainly has an impact".

Mr Trump "made clear that the United States will continue to strengthen its ability to deter and defend itself and its allies with the full range of its military capabilities", the White House said in a statement. "We're going to see what happens".

It's important that President Donald Trump "restrain himself" and build a relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping because the USA needs China to help deal with North Korea, former United Nations Ambassador Bill Richardson told CNBC on Thursday.

"We have been treated unfairly and have made awful deals - trade deals - with China for many, many years - so that's one of the things we're going to be talking about".

China has always been one of Trump's favorite political punching bags, and was one of his most prominent foils during his presidential campaign. Beijing says its influence is limited and that it is doing all it can but that it is up to the United States to find a way back to talks with North Korea.

On Air Force One on the way to Florida Trump pointed to the crisis in North Korea as a top priority in the meetings with Xi. A series of United Nations sanctions against North Korea have not deterred it from a string of missile tests, the latest this week.

Summits between USA and Chinese leaders are typically tightly choreographed affairs, with the agenda and even public statements scripted long before the first meeting.

Trump has long said North Korea is China's problem to fix, criticizing Beijing for refusing to use its influence over Pyongyang.

China and the USA are the world's worst polluters, together producing almost half of the planet's greenhouse gas emissions-and the leaders' failure to discuss the climate crisis comes as frightening signs show the planet is on the verge of disaster.

Obama also pursued a major trade pact with Pacific powers, including Japan and Vietnam, both to boost US exports to the rapidly growing region but also to cement America's influence in the region as a check to China.

USA labour leaders say Trump needs to take a direct, unambiguous tone in his talks with Xi.

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.

However, even if China isn't on board, Burns thinks the US shouldn't act unilaterally.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was the first in Trump's administration to greet Xi on the tarmac early Thursday afternoon as he landed at Palm Beach International Airport.

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