Trump tells China's Xi he believes there is solution to North Korea

Japanese citizens were concerned about the missile launches that took place in August and September but the military felt there was no need to shoot them down

Young opera students performed for them before dinner.

As President Xi Jinping led his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump around Beijing's Forbidden City on Wednesday, he made time to teach the American billionaire a bit of Chinese history. And few relationships have been a better example of that conflict than that of the USA and China. Would he stay calm if Trump unleashed a dose of his China-bashing rhetoric?

Prior to the president's departure, an administration official said that progress with China on economic issues "has become increasingly difficult" as of late, pushing the issue to the top of the agenda when Trump and Xi sit down Thursday.

"China has been doing everything we can on the Korean issue", said Cui Tiankai, the Chinese ambassador to the United States, who pointed to the UN sanctions that he said are being implemented "with a high cost for China itself". But so far, none of that has happened.

Trump has offered no signs that his stance on China has changed or that he views the Asian powerhouse as less destructive to USA manufacturing or threatening to the US' continued economic dominance. "We've gotten so far behind on trade with China and frankly many other countries", Trump said, before saying he had "great respect" for Xi for "representing China". He said part of the solution to the trade imbalance with China could include changes in USA trade laws or practices.

Trump has wavered in his assessment of just how much influence China could have in deterring North Korea's aggressive behavior.

"One of the things I find interesting is that they also seem quite confident, though, that if they're not able to push the reset button on the relationship, they're ready to turn in the other direction as well", said Christopher K. Johnson, senior adviser in China studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, briefing reporters before the trip. If Pyongyang does launch a missile at the US, the ensuing war would happen on China's doorstep.

But Fudan University's Wu says Beijing is still unsure about whom to talk to in Washington. We'll make it fair, and it'll be tremendous for both of us. "It seems like he's not in the loop, or at least not in the inner circle".

Although Mr Trump's Wednesday tweets focused on thanking his hosts for the "beautiful welcome", adding "Melania and I will never forget it!", he has previously used Twitter to criticise China's currency devaluation, and argue that China has not done enough to deter North Korea from its nuclear ambitions.

"Xi might "do more" on North Korea but he will never do as much as the USA wants, because (China) has a strong interest in maintaining regime stability in North Korea", Crane said. "And we've already started discussions with China because it has to come down".

Chu points out that every USA administration in recent decades has complained about China's trade surplus, violation of intellectual property and lack of market access.

Precise details of the agreements weren't immediately available, however, and many are said to have been in the works long before Trump was elected.

Since Trump took office, China has also tightened sanctions on North Korea, especially squeezing energy, banking and labor exchanges with its neighbor. Gao mentioned a railroad connecting South and North Korea with China as a possible avenue for a breakthrough, explaining that "relations between China and South Korea have improved [in the past] when inter-Korean tensions have loosened and there has been peaceful cooperation".

President Trump speaks at the U.S.

In 2001, a Chinese fighter jet collided with a USA spy plane, resulting in the death of the Chinese pilot and the detention of an American crew.

"Who knows when the two countries' warships might get too close or collide", he says, "or make some sort of miscalculation?"

He earlier said he and Xi believed there was a solution to the nuclear standoff, without elaborating.

"But this could all change", he cautions.

"Both of them are nationalist leader", Li explained. After the North's accelerating nuclear tests and intercontinental ballistic missile launches, China approved tougher United Nations sanctions. Trump arrived in China on the heels of Xi consolidating his power at China's Party Congress last month, whereas Trump is facing his lowest approval numbers yet back home.

People's University's Shi is even more pessimistic.

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