Chinese president warns Trump over 'negative factors' damaging ties

President Xi Jinping's complaint about a "negative" turn in China's relationship with the US showed the challenge facing Donald Trump when the two leaders meet in Germany this week.

U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping chat as they walk along the front patio of the Mar-a-Lago estate after a bilateral meeting in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., April 7, 2017.

"The Paris agreement, even with the temporary absence of USA leadership, will still be a critical factor in helping our children solve the enormous challenge in civilization", Obama said at a Seoul conference organized by South Korea's Chosun Ilbo media group.

China hopes the US can handle the Taiwan issue appropriately, in accordance with the "one China" principle, President Xi Jinping told US President Donald Trump on Monday, state media said.

Trump's separate conversations with the two Asian leaders followed White House talks with South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in, last week in which the USA leader called on Asian powers to implement sanctions and demand North Korea "choose a better path and do it quickly".

According to the White House readout of the call, Trump brought up the threat from North Korea and the two leaders "reaffirmed their commitment to a denuclearized Korean Peninsula". An upset Mr Abe said that "North Korea's most recent missile launch is absolutely intolerable".

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference the two countries and South Korea will have a trilateral summit at the G20 meeting, but he didn't want to speculate on what might be said there. The agency said that Mr Trump and Mr Abe agreed to hold trilateral talks on North Korea with South Korea's newly elected president, Moon Jae-in, on the sidelines of the G-20 meeting in Hamburg. (Nevermind, of course, that China has always been key to this USA effort, and that this fact didn't stop Trump from repeatedly making this promise during the campaign).

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Abe praised Trump for the recent US sanctions on the small Bank of Dandong over its alleged support for North Korea's nuclear program, according to Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.

President Trump declared that the USA stood 100 per cent behind Japan. China accounts for about 90 percent of North Korea's trade. The US government continues to uphold the one-China policy, and there has been no change in that position, he said.

US President Trump also spoke to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe by phone, with the two pledging deeper cooperation on North Korea, in the wake of growing frustrations over the rogue state.

Instead, Trump needs to push China, said Bolton, and that "won't be easy, to acknowledge that everybody's better off with the reunited Korea".

In addition, the U.S. Navy on Sunday sent the guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem close to Triton Island in the South China Sea, which is also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam.

While there was no mention of the warship in the White House statement, it said that the two leaders discussed "a range of other regional and bilateral issues of mutual interest" and indicated the two would meet at the Group of 20 summit in Germany this week.

  • Adam Floyd