Trump Congratulates Xi Jinping After China’s Party Congress, Plans Talks on North Korea, Trade

By Reuters
October 25, 2017China News
Trump Congratulates Xi Jinping After China’s Party Congress, Plans Talks on North Korea, Trade
US First Lady Melania Trump (R) and President Donald Trump (2nd R) pose with Chinese President Xi Jinping (2nd L) and his wife Peng Liyuan (L) upon their arrival to the Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Florida, on April 6, 2017. (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

After the 19th National Party Congress concluded in China, a week-long political conclave in which Chinese leader Xi Jinping has successfully consolidated his power and appointed his allies to top leadership positions, President Donald Trump sent a message of congratulations.

Trump wrote on Twitter on Oct. 25: “Spoke to President Xi of China to congratulate him on his extraordinary elevation. Also discussed NoKo & trade, two very important subjects!”

Trump will be embarking on an Asia tour from Nov. 3 to 14, with visits to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Earlier this week, a senior White House official told reporters that the president plans on pressing Xi to rein in North Korea, including by asking Xi to make good on U.N. Security Council sanctions that China has agreed to.

“We would like to see China follow through on those commitments. We would like to see China do things bilaterally as well that might even go beyond things that are mandated by those U.N. Security Council resolutions,” the official said. The United States and North Korea are currently in a standoff over the latter’s continued nuclear missiles tests, as it seeks to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the United States.

The president is hoping for a peaceful resolution, the official said, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Trump later tweeted that he was looking forward to the China visit. “Melania and I look forward to being with President Xi & Madame Peng Liyuan in China in two weeks for what will hopefully be a historic trip!,” he wrote.

Senior administration officials said last week that the president believes Xi will have greater authority to take steps against North Korea once he consolidates power at the party congress. Having enshrined his political doctrine in the Chinese Communist Party constitution and removed enemies in the opposing faction, Xi seems to have done just that.

In the past, China has stopped short of agreeing to U.S. demands for a fuel embargo and has urged the United States to negotiate with Pyongyang.

The president will also discuss ways to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with China.

“We have huge barriers that Americans companies have to surmount to gain access to the Chinese market. The president is intent on rectifying that situation,” the White House official said.

Annie Wu contributed to this report.


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