New York, April 1: Amid controversies between the United States and China, President Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will meet on April 6–7, 2017 at Mar-a-Lago. Notably, this is will be the first meeting between President Trump and President Xi. Both the leaders will discuss global, regional, and bilateral issues of mutual concern.
However, US President Trump on Friday tweeted which read, “the meeting next week with China will be a very difficult one in that we can no longer have massive trade deficits and job losses. American companies must be prepared to look at other alternatives.”
President Trump has already set the tone for what could be a tense meeting at his Mar-a-Lago retreat next week by tweeting on Thursday that the United States could no longer tolerate massive trade deficits and job losses. Trump also said the highly anticipated meeting, which is also expected to cover differences over North Korea and China's strategic ambitions in the South China Sea, "will be a very difficult one."
Later, White House said China’s industrial policies and financial support for industries such as steel and aluminum have resulted in over-production and a flood of exports that have distorted global markets and undermined competitive companies.
On the other side, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang reiterated a desire for cooperation on trade. "With regard to the problems existing between China and the United States in trade relations, both sides should in a mutually respectful and mutually beneficial way find appropriate resolutions, and ensure the stable development of Sino-U.S. trade relations," he told a daily news briefing.
Meanwhile, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the United States has "serious concerns" on the U.S. trade relationship with China. "This isn't a sit around and plays patty-cake kind of conversation," he told reporters. "They're big issues," he added. Trump "wants to have a very good and respectful and healthy relationship, but he also wants to make sure that he tackles the challenges and the problems that are facing American workers," Spicer said.
The US Commerce Department also said earlier that Beijing must change its trade practices and the way its state enterprises operate. "China and others need to realize the games are over continuing their unfair trade practices and operation as a non-market economy will have serious consequences,” it said.
Meanwhile, China has been irritated at being told repeatedly by Washington to rein in North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, or face US sanctions on Chinese businesses trading with North Korea, and by the US decision to base an advanced missile defence system in South Korea.
It is also deeply suspicious of US intentions toward self-ruled Taiwan, which China claims as its own, after Trump, as president-elect, broke with decades of US policy by taking a phone call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and saying Washington did not have to stick to a "one China" policy. But Trump later agreed in a phone call with Xi to honour the long-standing policy and has also written to him since seeking "constructive ties."
Interestingly, the rift between US and China started as soon as Trump took the president’s office because earlier he protested against China during his election campaigns. Trump always stated that China’s policies on trade have made job deficit in the US.