Trump meets Ger­man, Chi­nese lead­ers

The News & Observer (Sunday) - - News - BY MARK LANDLER

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump neared the end of an at­ten­u­ated visit to the Group of 20 sum­mit here Satur­day, sit­ting down with the lead­ers of China and Ger­many, two coun­tries he has threat­ened with trade wars over what he calls their un­fair com­mer­cial prac­tices.

“We have a tremen­dous trade im­bal­ance, but we’re go­ing to get that straight­ened out,” Trump said be­fore a meet­ing with Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel of Ger­many. “We all un­der­stand each other.”

Merkel said the two lead­ers would also dis­cuss Ukraine, where a clash be­tween Rus­sian and Ukrainian ships last week caused ten­sions to flare be­tween the two neigh­bors. It was cited by Trump as the rea­son he can­celed a meet­ing with Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin at the meet­ing in Buenos Aires.

Later Satur­day, Trump be­gan a din­ner meet­ing with Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping of China to dis­cuss ways to avoid a new round of tar­iffs that some an­a­lysts fear could pro­voke a fullfledged eco­nomic Cold War be­tween the world’s two largest economies.

“The re­la­tion­ship is very spe­cial, the re­la­tion­ship that I have with Pres­i­dent Xi,” Trump told re­porters, as he sat across a long ta­ble from the Chi­nese leader. “I think that is go­ing to be a very pri­mary rea­son why we'll prob­a­bly end up with get­ting some­thing that will be good for China and good for the United States.”

Xi replied, “Only with co­op­er­a­tion be­tween us can we serve the in­ter­est of world peace and pros­per­ity.”

China is seek­ing to pre­vent Trump from fol­low­ing through on a plan to raise tar­iffs on $250 bil­lion in Chi­nese goods to 25 per­cent, from 10 per­cent, on Jan. 1. In re­turn, U.S. of­fi­cials said, the Chi­nese were likely to of­fer to in­crease their pur­chases of U.S. soy­beans and nat­u­ral gas.

Nei­ther a dra­matic break­through nor an ac­ri­mo­nious break­down was ex­pected at the din­ner. The most likely out­come, of­fi­cials said, was an agree­ment to keep talk­ing – a truce not un­like the one that Trump agreed to re­cently with the Eu­ro­pean Union.

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