Trump to ask Xi to ratchet up pressure on North Korea

Exclusive China curbs tourism to North Korea ahead of Trump visit- sources

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who is accompanying Trump on the 12-day swing through five Asian nations, said the president will address the US' $347 billion trade deficit with China when he meets with Xi.

And he was welcomed with open arms: Trump's reception in the Chinese capital on Wednesday was complete with Chinese schoolchildren on the tarmac waving US and Chinese flags and others later uttering "I love you" to the US President.

Trump laughed at the antics of acrobats, then was serenaded by Chinese opera singers in elaborate headdresses and heavy make-up.

Trump's lambasting of U.S. trade partners and his vows that under his administration the theft of American prosperity will end play well with the crowd - they carried him on a wave of popular sentiment into the White House after all - and no doubt they will serve to distract attention from his troubles at home, but they do nothing to help revitalise the United States economy, unless he can gain a few favours from other leaders, or boost the global economy.

While Trump condemned the authorities, he also made overtures to leader Kim Jong-un, who has overseen rapid advances in its weapons technology.

Trump heaped praise on Chinese President Xi Jinping before touching down in Beijing, but he also used a speech in Seoul to urge China to do more to rein in its Cold War-era ally.

"And of course, China is doing much more than it's ever done in the past, but it's not the time for complacency or for allowing people to slip through loopholes and for a lot of that residual activity to continue", the official continued". He also threatened to punish China for manipulating the value of its currency. But Trump, who has belittled the press back home, has shown little inkling for confronting Xi on the issue despite having once boasted that he was the world's most-followed politician on social media. -China relations under Trump's administration, unlike other sectors such as steel and aluminum where the two countries have faced disputes. Trump, with his administration besieged by allegations of Russian Federation collusion, has an approval rating of just 36 percent - the worst for a USA president in modern history. The administration's inclusion of India as a partner in its strategy has been read by some in Beijing and elsewhere as a bid to contain China, which Trump aides deny.

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But the presidency has a way of bringing uncomfortable realities crashing down on the most powerful person in the world, like the undeniably intertwined fates of the U.S. and Chinese economies. "You cannot support, you cannot supply, you cannot accept".

Trump was all smiles and laughter, exchanging pleasantries with Xi and laughing at bits of the performance. "Why not?" the White House official said.

Trump is expected to demand that China curtail its dealings with Pyongyang and expel North Korean workers.

Whether a country registers a trade surplus or deficit is largely decided by its role in the global division of labour and its development stage.

"I think we can say that so far, our measures have been relatively successful", comments Wu Xinbo with the Center for American Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai. "China is launching a charm offensive for sure but substantive issues such as trade and North Korea can come up later", says Beijing-based commentator Einar Tangen, in a conversation with The Hindu.

But, he stressed, "this issue can not be solved all by China's self".

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