Xi tells Trump to ‘re­spect their choices’ ahead of G20

The Korea Times - - WORLD -

BEI­JING (Reuters) — China wants to re­solve prob­lems with the United States through talks but it must re­spect China’s choice of devel­op­ment path and in­ter­ests, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping said on Thurs­day ahead of a meet­ing with the U.S. leader in Ar­gentina.

China and the United States have put tar­iffs on hun­dreds of bil­lions of dol­lars of each other’s goods and U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has threat­ened to set tar­iffs on the re­main­der of China’s $500 bil­lion-plus ex­ports to the United States if their blis­ter­ing trade dis­pute can­not be re­solved.

Trump’s ad­min­is­tra­tion has also ac­cused China of in­ter­fer­ing in U.S. pol­i­tics, charges China strongly de­nies, and the two have sparred over the dis­puted South China Sea and self-ruled Tai­wan, which China claims.

Still, Trump and Xi plan to meet on the side­lines of a G20 sum­mit, which is be­ing held in Ar­gentina at the end of No­vem­ber and early De­cem­ber, for high-stakes talks as the two coun­tries try ten­ta­tively to get ties back on track.

Meet­ing for­mer U.S. Sec­re­tary of State Henry Kissinger in Bei­jing, Xi said he and Trump would have a “deep ex­change of views” in Ar­gentina, the of­fi­cial Xin­hua news agency re­ported.

China and the United States should cor­rectly judge each other’s strate­gic in­ten­tions, and while China wanted to re­solve prob­lems via talks, the United States should re­spect China’s choice of devel­op­ment path and le­git­i­mate in­ter­ests, Xi added.

Xi said at­ten­tion should be paid to “the in­crease in neg­a­tive voices re­lated to China in the United States,” with­out elab­o­rat­ing.

Speak­ing ear­lier, the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment’s top diplo­mat, State Coun­cil­lor Wang Yi, said Xi and Trump reached an im­por­tant con­sen­sus on the healthy and sta­ble devel­op­ment of bi­lat­eral ties in a tele­phone call last week.

Their meet­ing at the G20 sum­mit would be of “great sig­nif­i­cance” in re­solv­ing bi­lat­eral prob­lems, Wang said.

“That will be of great sig­nif­i­cance for both sides to man­age dif­fer­ences ef­fec­tively and re­solve is­sues in a prac­ti­cal way,” Wang told re­porters.

Wang said China stood ready to work with the United States to re­move dis­rup­tions, build trust and pre­pare fully for the meet­ing.

“We be­lieve that meet­ing will help chart the course for China-U.S. re­la­tions,” he said, fol­low­ing talks with Aus­tralian For­eign Min­is­ter Marise Payne.

Wang added that the more com­plex the sit­u­a­tion is, the more im­por­tant it is for both sides to re­main “level-headed.”

Re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries have warmed since the Xi-Trump tele­phone call, lay­ing the ground for their G20 meet­ing.

Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping

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