Trump thinks US, China could jointly solve world's problems By Associated Press PUBLISHED: 04:25 EST, 9 November 2017 | UPDATED: 19:45 EST, 9 November 2017 BEIJING (AP) - President Donald Trump set aside his blistering rhetoric in favor of friendly overtures to China on Thursday, trying to flatter his hosts into establishing a more balanced trade relationship and doing more to blunt North Korea's nuclear ambitions. Winding down his two days in Beijing, Trump suggested that if the U.S. and China jointly took on the world's problems, "I believe we can solve almost all of them, and probably all of them." In the name of furthering that relationship, Trump largely shelved his campaign complaints about China, at least in public. He focused on exhorting Beijing to help with North Korea, an effort expected again to take center stage at an international summit in Vietnam on Friday. U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping attend at a state dinner at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017. (Thomas Peter/Pool Photo via AP)+5 U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping attend at a state dinner at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017. (Thomas Peter/Pool Photo via AP) The Chinese rolled out a lavish welcome for the American president. Trump returned the kindness, heaping praise on China's Xi Jinping and predicting the two powers would work around entrenched differences. On Twitter later, Trump called his meetings with Xi "very productive on both trade and the subject of North Korea." On trade, Trump criticized the "very one-sided and unfair" relationship between the U.S. and China. But unlike his approach during the campaign, when he castigated China for what he contended were inappropriate trade practices, Trump said Thursday that he didn't blame the Chinese for having taken advantage of the U.S. in the past. Trump said China "must immediately address the unfair trade practices" that drive a "shockingly" large trade deficit, along with barriers to market access, forced technology transfers and intellectual property theft. "But I don't blame China," he said. "After all, who can blame a country for being able to take advantage of another country for the benefit of its citizens?" To applause, Trump said, "I give China great credit." Reacting from afar, Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., said Trump's comments "make the United States look weak and as if we are bowing to China's whim. ... Instead of giving China credit for stealing American jobs, the president should be holding China accountable." Menendez, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is on trial for bribery. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered a blunt assessment of China's trade surplus with the United States, which in October widened by 12.2 percent from a year earlier to $26.6 billion. The total surplus with the United States for the first 10 months of the year was $223 billion. "I think the best way to characterize it is that while we appreciate the long hours and the effort that our Chinese counterparts have put into those trade discussions, quite frankly in the grand scheme of a $300- to $500-billion trade deficit, the things that have been achieved are pretty small," Tillerson told reporters in Beijing. Tillerson also acknowledged there were differences in "tactics and the timing and how far to go with pressure" on North Korea. But he insisted that the two countries shared common objectives. "There is no disagreement on North Korea," he said. The comments by Trump and his top diplomat came after lengthy meetings with Xi. The day included announcements that the U.S. and China had signed agreements valued at more than $250 billion for products including U.S.-made jet engines, auto parts, liquefied natural gas and beef. Such contract signings, a fixture of foreign leaders' visits to Beijing, are intended to defuse complaints about China's trade policies. Xi promised a more open business environment for foreign companies in China and said his country was committed to further opening its economy to outside investment. "China will not close its doors" and will open them "even wider," he said, pledging that foreign companies in China, including American ones, would find the market "more open, more transparent and more orderly." It is unclear how far China will go to fulfill its pledges. Previous U.S. administrations have hailed market-opening promises only to be left disappointed. Before arriving in China, Trump had delivered a stern message to Beijing, using an address in South Korea to call on China, North Korea's biggest trade partner, to do more to confront and isolate the North. Trump on Thursday appeared far more conciliatory, thanking China for its efforts and saying he'd been encouraged by his conversations. "China can fix this problem easily. And quickly. And I am calling on China and your great president to hopefully work on it very hard," Trump said. "If he works on it hard it will happen." Trump also was feted at a state dinner that featured a video montage of the president's visit, as well as footage of his granddaughter, Arabella, the daughter of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, singing a traditional Chinese song in Mandarin. On Friday, Trump was scheduled to stop in Da Nang, Vietnam, for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference - the first of multiple summits he'll attend on his first trip to Asia as president. He may meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the conference. Tillerson said Thursday the two sides were still discussing whether they had "sufficient substance" to talk about in such a meeting. ___ Associated Press writers Christopher Bodeen in Beijing and Darlene Superville and Ken Thomas in Washington contributed to this report.
Trump praises 'highly respected' Xi; China media says visit set new blueprint for U.S.-China ties BEIJING (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump praised Chinese leader Xi Jinping as “highly respected” on Friday as he left Beijing for Vietnam, ending a visit which Chinese media declared set a “new blueprint” for handling U.S.-China relations and differences. U.S. President Donald Trump prior to boarding Air Force One to depart for Vietnam from Beijing Airport in Beijing, China, November 10, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst Trump pressed China to do more to rein in North Korea and said bilateral trade had been unfair to the United States, but lauded Xi’s pledge that China would be more open to foreign firms. The two also oversaw the signing of about $250 billion in commercial deals, but there was little progress reported on U.S. firms complaints about market access or U.S. government probes into issues like intellectual property theft. Shortly before flying off to Vietnam, where he will attend the APEC summit of Asia Pacific leaders, Trump tweeted: “My meetings with President Xi Jinping were very productive on both trade and the subject of North Korea”. SPONSORED “He is a highly respected and powerful representative of his people. It was great being with him and Madame Peng Liyuan!” Trump added, referring to Xi’s wife. Trump reiterated comments from the previous day that he didn’t blame China for the trade difficulties between the two countries. ADVERTISING “I don’t blame China, I blame the incompetence of past Admins for allowing China to take advantage of the U.S. on trade leading up to a point where the U.S. is losing $100’s of billions. How can you blame China for taking advantage of people that had no clue? I would’ve done same!” China lavished attention on Trump and his wife Melania during their visit, with Xi personally chaperoning them on a tour of the Forbidden City, part of what the Chinese government referred to as a “state visit plus”. There were no obvious gaffes, and Trump and Xi seemed to enjoy being in each other’s company. At a banquet on Thursday in the Great Hall of the People, Trump and Xi dined on coconut chicken soup, spicy chicken, stewed beef with tomatoes and grouper fillets. U.S. President Donald Trump waves as he boards Air Force One to depart for Vietnam from Beijing Airport in Beijing, China, November 10, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst Trump came to China pledging to ask Xi to play a bigger role in reining in North Korea, whose repeated nuclear and missile tests have angered both Washington and Beijing. Xi, at least in public, went no further than reiterating China’s determination to achieve denuclearization through talks. Chinese state media on Friday said the tone and outcome of Trump’s visit had been largely positive, saying Trump and Xi were setting a new blueprint for handling relations and managing their differences. Slideshow (4 Images) “China has tried its utmost, even at the sacrifice of Sino-North Korean relations,” influential tabloid the Global Times wrote in its editorial. “Trump has gradually learned that Beijing is indeed making selfless contributions to promoting the denuclearization of the peninsula. He can’t demand more.” China has repeatedly said it is committed to enforcing United Nations sanctions against North Korea, which does some 90 percent of its trade with China, but that more efforts need to be made to get everyone back to the negotiating table. “Although the differences that had been pestering bilateral ties have not instantly disappeared, the most important takeaway from their talks in Beijing has been the constructive approach to these issues the two leaders demonstrated,” the official China Daily said in an editorial. “Both expressed their willingness to work with, instead of against, the other in dealing with the differences between their two countries, in particular over trade and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nuclear program,” it added, using North Korea’s formal name. Su Xiaohui of the Foreign Ministry think-tank, the China Institute of International Studies, wrote in a front page commentary of the overseas edition of the ruling Communist Party’s People’s Daily that Sino-U.S. cooperation was the only correct choice for both countries. “A new blueprint for China-U.S. relations is gradually unfolding,” Su wrote. Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Additional reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Michael Perry