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Trump Hails 'Outstanding' Relationship With China, Without Citing Specifics
January 19 2018, 05:37 | Irvin Gilbert
Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with his USA counterpart Donald Trump in the latter's Florida resort of Mar-a-Lago in the United States, April 6, 2017.
In an interview last week with the Financial Times, Trump said that if China doesn't take a tougher stand, the U.S.is prepared to act alone.
The meeting in Mar-a-Lago has been largely overshadowed by the USA strike on Syria Thursday evening; nonetheless, Trump and Xi appear to be moving the ball forward in their talks.
Trump added that it was a "great honor" to host the Chinese leader. Washington deployed it a year ago to protect South Korea against North Korean missiles, but Beijing fears it could also inhibit its own weapons systems.
On Friday, China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China opposed the use of chemical weapons by any party under any circumstances but didn't comment on the US attack.
NY time. Shortly thereafter, three groups of military and national security officials were gathered and linked via video conference to discuss military options against Syria.
In return, Xi hoped to obtain assurances from Trump on punitive tariffs and the delay of an American arms sale to Taiwan, at least until after a major Communist Party meeting later this year.
If tensions were simmering beneath the meeting - Trump has publicly clashed with the Chinese over trade, the South China Sea, the "One China" policy, and North Korea - the Syria strikes didn't help.
"The world makes way for the man who knows where he is going", American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson said. "Even lovely babies were cruelly murdered", said Trump. The strikes, the first US attack on Assad's regime, could well have given Xi a demonstration of American resolve - whether that means dealing with North Korea, or free navigation in the South China Sea.
Also in their talks, Xi told Trump that Beijing welcomes Washington to participate in cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.
"He wants to prove that he dares to do whatever Obama didn't dare to do. For the peace and stability of the world, we will also fulfil our historical responsibility".
China has sided with Russian Federation at the United Nations in opposing condemnation of Mr Assad's government but has not become directly involved in the conflict. The president now says every option is on the table.
Trump would be wise to address China's more aggressive role in the South China Sea, an global body of water that the country has basically claimed as its own in the last few years.
"The Chinese of course would insist on being the given the limelight, because this is Xi Jinping's first visit (to see Trump)", said Lam. She referred to the Assad regime in Syria saying, "We respect the choice made by the Syrian people, and it is up to them to decide what future they want". State broadcaster CCTV put news of the airstrikes fifth in its midday news rundown.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Mr. Xi urged that the two sides should promote the "healthy development of bilateral trade and investment" and advance talks on a bilateral investment agreement.
"We have engaged in deeper understanding, and have built a trust - a preliminary working relationship and friendship", he said. The US-China relationship has crucial economic dimensions, so Trump wanted his top policymakers on trade and economics to be present at the meeting.
North Korea is a hot issue that China would rather not deal with, but Trump is unlikely to let Xi off easy.
During their meeting, Xi said he is ready to work with Trump to push forward China-US relations from a new starting point, China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported.