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Trump Presses China On North Korea, Trade During Visit


Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump during an event at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 9.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who is on a state visit to China, has urged Beijing to use its influence to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue and stressed that bilateral trade had been unfair to the United States.

Trump spoke on November 9 alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping, announcing the signing of about $250 billion in commercial deals between U.S. and Chinese firms.

In recent months, Pyongyang has tested intercontinental ballistic missiles and carried out its sixth nuclear explosion, prompting Trump to warn in August of "fire and fury" in response to the North's moves.

Trump, who wants Xi to put further pressure on North Korea and its development of nuclear weapons, said that "China can fix this problem quickly and easily," calling on Beijing to cut financial ties with North Korea and also calling on Russia to help.

China is Pyongyang's main ally and trading partner.

Xi said China's economy -- the world's second-largest after the U.S. economy -- would become increasingly open and transparent to foreign firms, including those from the United States.

Trump has said he would use the three-day China visit to press Xi on Beijing's massive trade surplus with the United States, which was valued at $26.6 billion last month according to official Chinese data.

Trump made clear that he blamed his predecessors, not China, for the trade imbalance, and repeatedly praised Xi, calling him "a very special man."

In unprecedented treatment offered to a foreign leader, the welcoming ceremony outside Beijing's Great Hall of the People overlooking Tiananmen Square was broadcast live on state television.

Earlier on November 9, Xi said he had a thorough discussion with Trump and reached consensus on numerous issues of mutual concern. "For China, cooperation is the only real choice, only win-win can lead to an even better future," he said.

Trump blasted China's trade practices during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign and threatened to take action once in office.

But he has since refrained from any major trade penalties, making clear he was giving Beijing an opportunity to make progress on the North Korea issue.

Trump is to travel on November 10 to Vietnam, where he is scheduled to deliver a speech to leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had also been scheduled to address the 21-country forum on November 10, but his speech has reportedly been canceled.

Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov said on November 9 that Putin and Trump were "most likely" to hold a meeting on November 10 on the sidelines of the summit.

However, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said no decision had been made on whether Trump will have formal talks with Putin at the summit.

Tillerson, who is accompanying Trump on his Asia tour and spoke to reporters in Beijing, said the question was whether a Trump-Putin meeting would have sufficient substance.

Trump said earlier that he expected to meet with Putin during his Asia tour, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on November 8 that Putin was "ready" for such a meeting and "the Americans know that."

With reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, Interfax, and RIA Novosti
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