Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

'Only time will tell' on improving US-China trade

'Only time will tell' on improving US-China trade

US President Donald Trump has accepted his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping's invitation to visit Beijing, said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Tillerson, who briefed reporters alongside Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross at the conclusion of the summit, also said Trump said China needs to make changes to its economy in order to "level the playing field for American workers, stressing repeatedly the need for reciprocal market access".

The anticipated showdown between the United States and China over trade and North Korea has ended with little sign of confrontation - or concrete progress in resolving differences.

He's also criticized China for grabbing jobs that could otherwise go to Americans.

Trump has repeatedly hammered China for exporting more to the US than it buys.

Trump informed the Chinese leader personally of the strike and Chinese officials later warned against a "further deterioration" of the situation in Syria.

The North called the airstrikes "absolutely unpardonable" and said they prove its nuclear weapons are justified to protect the country against Washington's "evermore reckless moves for a war".

The officials signaled that the trading relationship between the two countries and North Korea's nuclear program were at the top of the agenda during the meetings, which took place here over 24 hours at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate.

Tillerson said Xi told Trump that he "understood that such a response was necessary when people are killing children" and expressed "an appreciation" to Trump for informing him of the number of missiles that were launched and explaining the rationale behind the strike.

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Trump talked up the meeting with lots of tough rhetoric about how he was going to get China to fully exert its influence over North Korea or, if he needed to, go it alone, saying Washington could "totally" resolve the issue without China's help.

"Any use of force or pre-emptive strikes against North Korea will carry huge ramifications, which would probably lead to a drastically different outcome compared to Syria", Wang said.

The president is spending the weekend at his Florida resort after the two-day meetings with Xi. He and Putin talked on the phone last week after a deadly subway bombing in the Russian city of St. Petersburg.

Trump hailed China's abstention.

On North Korea, Trump didn't outline any concessions China was offering apart from the coal cutoff, which was announced two months ago.

In fact, the North justifies its nuclear weapons as a necessary deterrent to the US military threat and has over the past weeks warned that the biggest-ever joint U.S. Experts believe China is using the THAAD card to gain leverage over the their grand game for regional hegemony.

Bonnie Glaser, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the development "bodes well for cooperation between the USA and China".

Tillerson said the two leaders noted the urgency of the threat of North Korea's weapons program.

China Daily said both parties appeared "equally enthusiastic about the constructive relationship they have promised to cultivate". "When the president fails to label them a currency manipulator, he gives them a green light to steal our jobs and wealth time and time again".

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