Trump talks North Korea threat in calls with China, Japan leaders

Trump talks North Korea threat in calls with China, Japan leaders

Trump talks North Korea threat in calls with China, Japan leaders

Chinese President Xi Jinping told his American counterpart Donald Trump today that bilateral relations were "affected by some negative factors", as the two leaders spoke over phone amid unease in ties following a series of United States actions that angered Beijing. The White House is suddenly engaged in a multipronged pressure campaign against Beijing, borne of frustration with the limited results of their much-touted cooperation on ending North Korea's nuclear threat.

According to a readout of a July 2 call between Trump and Xi released by the Chinese state news agency Xinhua, "bilateral relations have also been affected by some negative factors, the Chinese side has indicated to the US side".

The two leaders discussed "a range of other regional and bilateral issues of mutual interest" and indicated the two would meet at the Group of 20 summit in Germany this week, the White House said.

China's state-run broadcaster CCTV quoted Xi as expressing hope that the United States will deal with the Taiwan issue in accordance with the policy and their past agreements.

The U.S. destroyer's cruise near Triton Island appeared to be especially grating to China.

Xi's willingness to take the call appeared to suggest he was not ready to escalate tension with the USA over the issue of the North. The statement did not even include a perfunctory reference to the two leaders reconfirming that they will faithfully implement the UN Security Council's sanctions resolution against North Korea.

Other U.S. decisions have recently drawn criticism from China.

During the call, Xi said the relationship between the two countries had shown progress but was also affected by "negative factors", according to Xinhua, the state-run news agency.

Trump decided in late June to consider tougher sanctions against a dozen or so Chinese companies and individuals helping North Korean companies involved in the weapons development programs, according to a USA government source.

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USA officials said the Navy's action, known as a freedom-of-navigation operation, or FONOP, was planned in advance and was not targeted at any one country, nor aimed at making a political statement.

The call between President Xi and President Trump came as relations between the two countries are strained over a series of recent events. The same day, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on a Chinese bank accused of laundering North Korean cash.

Trump issued a statement on Warmbier's death: "There is nothing more tragic for a parent than to lose a child in the prime of life". Washington sees excess global production capacity, particularly in China, administration officials say.

China's military vowed Monday to step up air and sea patrols after an American warship sailed near a disputed island in the South China Sea in what Beijing called a "serious political and military provocation".

The U.S. then backed the sale of $1.5 billion in weapons to Taiwan, considered a breakaway province by China.

China deployed military vessels and fighter jets to the area.

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