By Ben Blanchard
BEIJING (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump praised Chinese leader Xi Jinping as “highly respected” on Friday as he left Beijing for Vietnam, ending a visit which Chinese media declared set a “new blueprint” for handling U.S.-China relations and differences.
Trump pressed China to do more to rein in North Korea and said bilateral trade had been unfair to the United States, but lauded Xi’s pledge that China would be more open to foreign firms.
The two also oversaw the signing of about $250 billion in commercial deals, but there was little progress reported on U.S. firms complaints about market access or U.S. government probes into issues like intellectual property theft.
Shortly before flying off to Vietnam, where he will attend the APEC summit of Asia Pacific leaders, Trump tweeted: “My meetings with President Xi Jinping were very productive on both trade and the subject of North Korea”.
“He is a highly respected and powerful representative of his people. It was great being with him and Madame Peng Liyuan!” Trump added, referring to Xi’s wife.
Trump reiterated comments from the previous day that he didn’t blame China for the trade difficulties between the two countries.
“I don’t blame China, I blame the incompetence of past Admins for allowing China to take advantage of the U.S. on trade leading up to a point where the U.S. is losing $100’s of billions. How can you blame China for taking advantage of people that had no clue? I would’ve done same!”
China lavished attention on Trump and his wife Melania during their visit, with Xi personally chaperoning them on a tour of the Forbidden City, part of what the Chinese government referred to as a “state visit plus”.
There were no obvious gaffes, and Trump and Xi seemed to enjoy being in each other’s company.
At a banquet on Thursday in the Great Hall of the People, Trump and Xi dined on coconut chicken soup, spicy chicken, stewed beef with tomatoes and grouper fillets.
Trump came to China pledging to ask Xi to play a bigger role in reining in North Korea, whose repeated nuclear and missile tests have angered both Washington and Beijing.
Xi, at least in public, went no further than reiterating China’s determination to achieve denuclearization through talks.
Chinese state media on Friday said the tone and outcome of Trump’s visit had been largely positive, saying Trump and Xi were setting a new blueprint for handling relations and managing their differences.
“China has tried its utmost, even at the sacrifice of Sino-North Korean relations,” influential tabloid the Global Times wrote in its editorial.
“Trump has gradually learned that Beijing is indeed making selfless contributions to promoting the denuclearization of the peninsula. He can’t demand more.”
China has repeatedly said it is committed to enforcing United Nations sanctions against North Korea, which does some 90 percent of its trade with China, but that more efforts need to be made to get everyone back to the negotiating table.
“Although the differences that had been pestering bilateral ties have not instantly disappeared, the most important takeaway from their talks in Beijing has been the constructive approach to these issues the two leaders demonstrated,” the official China Daily said in an editorial.
“Both expressed their willingness to work with, instead of against, the other in dealing with the differences between their two countries, in particular over trade and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nuclear program,” it added, using North Korea’s formal name.
Su Xiaohui of the Foreign Ministry think-tank, the China Institute of International Studies, wrote in a front page commentary of the overseas edition of the ruling Communist Party’s People’s Daily that Sino-U.S. cooperation was the only correct choice for both countries.
“A new blueprint for China-U.S. relations is gradually unfolding,” Su wrote.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Additional reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Michael Perry)
New Zealand may postpone general election after 4 test positive for COVID-19: PM Jacinda Ardern
New Zealand locked down nursing homes nationwide Wednesday after a 102-day streak without the coronavirus ended, as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the outbreak could force her to postpone next month's general election.
Ardern said authorities were scrambling to trace anyone who had been in contact with four Auckland residents who tested positive Tuesday, ending the dream run in which the virus had been contained at New Zealand's borders.
A three-day stay-at-home order for Auckland, New Zealand's biggest city with a population of 1.5 million, was announced on Tuesday night and went into force at lunchtime on Wednesday.
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Android phones will receive warnings triggered by a "ShakeAlert" earthquake early-warning system implemented on the West Coast by the US Geological Survey and partners.
ShakeAlert uses signals from hundreds of seismometers across the state to trigger warning messages that "an earthquake has begun and shaking is imminent," according to the system's website.
"We saw an opportunity to use Android to provide people with timely, helpful earthquake information when they search, as well as a few seconds warning to get themselves and their loved ones to safety if needed," principal software engineer Marc Stogaitis said in a blog post.
‘Don’t talk about racism, racist’: Trump scorched after claiming Biden-Harris campaign has a ‘racism problem’
President Donald Trump continued to lash out at Kamala Harris after the California Democrat was chosen to join the 2020 Democratic Party ticket as presumptive nominee Joe Biden's running mate.
At a news conference following the selection, Trump complained about Harris being "nasty."
After 10 p.m. on Monday, Trump tweeted out an attack ad claiming "Joe Biden has a racism problem."
Here's some of what people were saying about Trump's line of attack: