Trump, Xi to jointly fight terrorism in South Asia: China


U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson testifies about authorizations for the use of military force before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. October 30, 2017.

Watched by Trump and China's President Xi Jinping at a signing ceremony in Beijing, U.S. planemaker Boeing Co, General Electric Co and chip giant Qualcomm Inc sealed lucrative multi-billion dollar deals.

Trump has made quite a show of his personal rapport with Xi, who spent a weekend with the president this year at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

"China's great. No problem".

Trump's Chinese sojourn, styled as a "state visit plus", my colleague David Nakamura noted, "opened with the tour of the ancient Forbidden City, a reminder of China's 5,000 years of history".

Trump made clear he blamed his predecessors, not China, for allowing the U.s. trade deficit to get "out of kilter", and repeatedly praised Xi, calling him "a very special man".

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It was the latest display of elaborate pageantry put on by his Chinese hosts, and inside the cavernous state edifice two hours later, the outsized display of flattery appeared to pay off.

"Who can blame a country for being able taking advantage of another country for the benefit of its citizens?"

Putting China at the center of the trip makes sense, because it constitutes the most important stop in both strategic and economic terms.

The presence of our official escorts meant that even if anyone we spoke held differing views, they would likely only reiterate the same talking points as North Korea's leaders out of fear of punishment. The day included announcements that the US and China had signed agreements valued at more than $250 billion for products including USA -made jet engines, auto parts, liquefied natural gas and beef. "The US position remains unchanged", Tillerson told reporters. The U.S. has a $350 billion trade deficit with China that Trump has vowed to correct, accusing China during his volcanic campaign of "raping" America and employing predatory trade practices such as currency manipulation.

The United States and other trading partners have been pressing Beijing to give their companies more access to its state-dominated economy.

The list of issues dividing these two important and powerful countries is thus long and hard, reinforcing the pessimism of those who predict that the bilateral relationship will continue to sour.

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North Korea remained a focus of the talks.

On pressuring North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un to halt his nuclear and missile programmes, which was Trump's main agenda of the maiden visit, Xi reiterated China's stand that Beijing is faithfully implementing the UNSC resolutions.

"Another war on the Korean Peninsula must not happen", Kang said during the interview in Seoul that was posted on its Web site and later aired on NBC Nightly News.

Asked whether the big package of deals would go some way towards helping fix American trade concerns in China, executives were cautiously optimistic. He called for China to give fair and reciprocal treatment to USA companies and exports to reduce the U.S. trade deficit and rebalance the economic relationship, the secretary of state said. "It'd be better if Taiwan was not mentioned at all", said Szu-chien Hsu, the chairman of the government-funded Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, ahead of Trump's arrival in Beijing.

On Friday, Trump heads to Danang, Vietnam for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference - the first of two conferences he'll attend on his trip to Asia.

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