Trump says talked with China’s Xi on trade deal, Hong Kong, North Korea

Trump says talked with China’s Xi on trade deal, Hong Kong, North Korea
In this file photo taken on April 06, 2017 US President Donald Trump (R) welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) to the Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Florida. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 20 December 2019

Trump says talked with China’s Xi on trade deal, Hong Kong, North Korea

Trump says talked with China’s Xi on trade deal, Hong Kong, North Korea
  • The leaders spoke a week after their envoys sealed a “Phase 1” agreement aimed at ending an 18-month trade war
  • China was angered when Trump last month signed legislation that authorizes sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump spoke on Friday with Chinese President Xi Jinping and claimed progress between the two governments on issues that have divided them, from trade to North Korea and Hong Kong.
The two leaders spoke a week after their envoys sealed a “Phase 1” agreement aimed at ending an 18-month trade war that has rattled markets and raised tensions.
Trump announced the phone call in a tweet. A White House official said they spoke on Friday morning. China Central Television said Xi spoke to Trump at the request of the US president.
“Had a very good talk with President Xi of China concerning our giant Trade Deal. China has already started large scale purchase of agricultural product & more. Formal signing being arranged. Also talked about North Korea, where we are working with China, & Hong Kong (progress!)” Trump tweeted.
Further details were not immediately available. China was angered when Trump last month signed legislation that authorizes sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials responsible for human rights abuses in Hong Kong, in what was seen as support for pro-democracy activists.
Of paramount concern to the United States is a threat by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for what he called a “Christmas gift.”
US officials have interpreted this to mean either a nuclear weapons test or a ballistic missile test. Trump and Kim have held three summits but failed to reach an agreement on lifting sanctions on North Korea in exchange for denuclearization by Pyongyang.
China and Russia on Monday proposed that the UN Security Council lift a ban on North Korea exports such as seafood and textiles, according to a draft resolution seen by Reuters, in a move the Russian UN envoy said was aimed at encouraging talks between Washington and Pyongyang.
The State Department took a dim view of the proposal, with an official saying the UN Security Council should not be considering “premature sanctions relief” for North Korea as it is “threatening to conduct an escalated provocation, refusing to meet to discuss denuclearization.”
The US special envoy for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, was due to leave Beijing on Friday after meeting with Chinese officials. Earlier in the week, Biegun also made stops in Seoul and Tokyo for discussions with counterparts.
China said on Friday its relationship with the United States had experienced serious difficulties, but that the two countries should work in accordance with the consensus reached by their leaders to push forward a stable bilateral relationship.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng made the comment at a meeting with Biegun, according to a statement from the ministry on Friday.
The two officials exchanged views on North Korea and China reiterated its stance that it will safeguard its sovereignty, security and development interests, the statement said.


LIVE: Donald Trump leaves White House ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania make their way to board Marine One before departing from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on January 20, 2021. (AFP)
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania make their way to board Marine One before departing from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on January 20, 2021. (AFP)
Updated 4 min 17 sec ago

LIVE: Donald Trump leaves White House ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania make their way to board Marine One before departing from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on January 20, 2021. (AFP)
  • Joe Biden will be sworn in later on Wednesday afternoon
  • Ceremony will take place amid heightened tensions and a massive security operatio

LONDON: The US is braced for one of the highest profile handovers of the presidency in its history. Donald Trump left the White House on Wednesday with First Lady Melania, before attending a military send-off at Joint Base Andrews.

Joe Biden will be sworn in at 5 p.m. GMT (8 p.m. KSA) and take the oath of office alongside Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

The ceremony will take place amid heightened tensions and a massive security operation after a deadly riot at the US Capitol earlier this month.

Follow live updates of the inauguration below (all times GMT):

13:30 - Trump makes his final speech as President of the United States, saying it had been the greatest honor of his life. Watch it below: