World Trump says he and Xi can solve ‘prob­a­bly all’ world prob­lems

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - World - 16

PRES­I­DENT Don­ald Trump emerged from a lengthy meet­ing with Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping on Thurs­day to de­clare that he be­lieved he and Xi to­gether can solve “prob­a­bly all” the world’s prob­lems.

“I look for­ward to many years of suc­cess and friend­ship work­ing to­gether to solve not only our prob­lems, but world prob­lems, and prob­lems of great dan­ger and se­cu­rity,” Trump said be­tween meet­ings at the Great Hall of the Peo­ple. “I be­lieve we can solve al­most all of them, and prob­a­bly all of them.”

Trump and Xi were dis­cussing a se­ries of thorny is­sues dur­ing Trump’s sec­ond day in China, in­clud­ing China’s will­ing­ness to put the squeeze on North Korea over its nu­clear weapons pro­gram, and the Uschina trade re­la­tion­ship.

Trump pro­jected con­fi­dence on both fronts. He said both he and Xi be­lieve “a so­lu­tion” ex­ists on North Korea. And he said the coun­tries’ trade re­la­tion­ship — which he com­plained had got­ten “so far out of kil­ter” — would be made “fair and it’ll be tremen­dous for both of us.”

Xi, mean­while, said Us-china re­la­tions were at a “new his­toric start­ing point.” He said China was will­ing to work with the US “with mu­tual re­spect, seek­ing mu­tual ben­e­fits, to fo­cus on co­op­er­a­tion and con­trol our dif­fer­ences.”

Be­fore the meet­ings, China rolled out the red car­pet for Trump, treat­ing him to an elab­o­rate wel­come cer­e­mony on the plaza out­side the Great Hall of the Peo­ple be­fore the lead­ers turned to their pri­vate talks.

Trump looked on ap­prov­ingly as a Chi­nese honor guard played the na­tional an­thems of both coun­tries, can­nons boomed and sol­diers marched. He clapped and smiled as chil­dren wav­ing US and Chi­nese flags and flow­ers screamed and jumped wildly.

Be­fore ar­riv­ing in China, Trump had de­liv­ered a stern mes­sage to Bei­jing, us­ing an ad­dress to the Na­tional Assem­bly in South Korea to call on na­tions to con­front the North.

“All re­spon­si­ble na­tions must join forces to iso­late the bru­tal regime of North Korea,” Trump said. “You can­not sup­port, you can­not sup­ply, you can­not ac­cept.”

He called on “ev­ery na­tion, in­clud­ing China and Rus­sia,” to fully im­ple­ment UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions against North Korea en­forc­ing sanc­tions aimed at de­priv­ing its gov­ern­ment of rev­enue for its nu­clear and bal­lis­tic mis­sile pro­grams. The lat­est mea­sure, adopted af­ter a Septem­ber atomic test ex­plo­sion, the North’s largest yet, banned im­ports of its tex­tiles and pro­hib­ited new work per­mits for over­seas North Korean la­bor­ers. It also re­stricted ex­ports of some petroleum prod­ucts.

Trump’s words drew a caus­tic re­sponse from North Korean state me­dia, which is­sued a state­ment Wed­nes­day say­ing the US should “oust the lu­natic old man from power” and with­draw its “hos­tile pol­icy” to­ward Py­ongyang “in or­der to get rid of the abyss of doom.”

White House of­fi­cials said Trump would un­der­score his pub­lic mes­sages about North Korea dur­ing his pri­vate talks with Xi. China is North Korea’s largest trad­ing part­ner and Trump is ex­pected to de­mand that the na­tion cur­tail its deal­ings with Py­ongyang and ex­pel North Korean work­ers from its bor­ders. Trump has praised China for tak­ing some steps against Py­ongyang, but he wants them to do more.

China is in­creas­ingly dis­en­chanted with North Korea over its nu­clear weapons de­vel­op­ment but re­mains wary of us­ing its full eco­nomic lever­age over its tra­di­tional ally. It fears trig­ger­ing a col­lapse of the North’s to­tal­i­tar­ian regime that could cause an in­flux of refugees into north­east­ern China and cul­mi­nate in a Us-al­lied uni­fied Korea on its bor­der.

China also poured on the pomp and pageantry for Trump’s ar­rival Wed­nes­day. The pres­i­dent and first lady Me­la­nia Trump were greeted at the air­port by dozens of jump­ing chil­dren who waved US and Chi­nese flags. The cou­ple spent the first hours of their visit on a pri­vate tour of the For­bid­den City, Bei­jing’s an­cient im­pe­rial palace. It’s usu­ally teem­ing with tourists but was closed to the pub­lic for the pres­i­den­tial visit.

The Trumps walked along­side Xi and his wife through the his­toric site and ad­mired ar­ti­facts from cen­turies’ past. Trump posed for photos and, with a wave of his hand, joked to Xi about the re­porters watch­ing. And he laughed and clapped along dur­ing an out­door opera fea­tur­ing col­or­ful cos­tumes, mar­tial arts and atonal mu­sic.

The pres­i­dent also is ex­pected to show­case a round of busi­ness deals, in­clud­ing those signed Wed­nes­day by Chi­nese and US com­pa­nies that the two sides say are val­ued at $9 bil­lion.

Among them: a pledge by China’s big­gest on­line re­tailer to buy $1.2 bil­lion of Amer­i­can beef and pork. Such con­tract sign­ings are a fix­ture of vis­its by for­eign lead­ers to China and are aimed at blunt­ing crit­i­cism of Bei­jing’s trade prac­tices.

It’s “a way of dis­tract­ing from the fact that there’s been no progress in China on struc­tural re­form, mar­ket ac­cess or the big is­sues that the pres­i­dent has tried to make progress on with re­gard to China,” said El­iz­a­beth Econ­omy, the di­rec­tor for Asia Stud­ies at the Coun­cil on For­eign Re­la­tions.

Trump has made nar­row­ing the multi­bil­lion-dol­lar US trade deficit with China a pri­or­ity for his ad­min­is­tra­tion. Dur­ing his cam­paign, he ac­cused China of “rap­ing our coun­try” on trade and pledged to min­imise the coun­tries’ trade im­bal­ance.

China’s trade sur­plus with the United States in Oc­to­ber widened by 12.2 per­cent from a year ear­lier, to $26.6 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to Chi­nese cus­toms data re­leased Wed­nes­day. The to­tal sur­plus with the United States for the first 10 months of the year rose to $223 bil­lion. – AP

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, first lady Me­la­nia Trump, Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and his wife Peng Liyuan, right, stand to­gether as they tour the For­bid­den City, Novem­ber 8. Photo: AP

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