Trump pressed China to do more to rein in North Korea on Thursday and said bilateral trade had been unfair to the United States, but praised 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.
“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.
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.”
Trump came to China pledging to ask Xi to play a bigger role in reining on 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.
“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.
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-US cooperation was the only correct choice for both countries. “A new blueprint for China-US relations is gradually unfolding,” Su wrote.