vendredi 31 mars 2017

President Trump sets himself on collision course with China ahead of Xi meeting

The US president attacked trade relationship with Beijing and announced that his meeting with the Chinese dictator would be very difficult
By Benjamin Haas in Hong Kong
Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump are due to meet in Florida on April 6. 
Donald Trump has set himself on a collision course with the Chinese dictator, saying the first meeting between the two leaders would be “very difficult”.
Xi will travel to the US next week and will have his first face to face meeting with Trump at Mar-a-lago, the US president’s country club in Florida, from April 6 to 7.
But just hours after the trip was officially announced, Trump used Twitter to slam China for its trade imbalance with the US.
“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,” Trump wrote in a pair of tweets.
Trump’s firm assertion is likely to cast a shadow over Xi’s visit, with US officials also criticising China over North Korea.
Chinese authorities have so far adopted a wait and see approach.
While Trump has deployed tough rhetoric, criticising China over its currency policy, trade imbalance with the US and military expansion, he has taken few concrete actions since assuming office.
Indeed China’s immediate response to Trump’s latest tweet was diplomatic, with vice foreign minister Zheng Zeguang telling reporters on Friday morning that “both sides look forward to a successful meeting so that a correct direction can be set for the growth of bilateral relations.”
Observers believe the economy and North Korea will be at the top of the agenda when the two leaders meet next week.
On the same day as Trump’s tweets, the US ambassador to the United Nations said China should do more to force North Korea to curb its nuclear program, amid reports of an imminent nuclear test.
“I know China says they’re worried about North Korea. I know China wants to see North Korea stop with the testing. Prove it. Prove it,” Nikki Haley said. 
“Look, can we change the way North Korea thinks? No. They’re not going to cave. China can, and that’s the part we want to look at.”
Trump previously slammed China for its perceived lack of diplomacy in dealing with North Korea.
China has been taking out massive amounts of money & wealth from the U.S. in totally one-sided trade, but won’t help with North Korea,” then president-elect Trump wrote in January.
In a further sign that Trump could complicate his meeting with Xi, the US commerce department announced it was launching a review over whether China should be considered a market economy.
The review could be completed before the meeting, and China has been lobbying for years saying it should be classified as a market economy under World Trade Organisation rules. 
The status would limit steps the US could take on imposing anti-dumping taxes on Chinese-made products.

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