'Only time will tell' on improving US-China trade

South Korea's acting leader Hwang Kyo-ahn on Saturday held phone talks with U.S. President Donald Trump over North Korea's nuclear issue after the first summit between the leaders of the U.S. and China, his office said.

President Donald Trump entered a second day of talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Friday hoping to strike deals on trade and jobs after an overnight show of strength in Syria.

"China welcomes the USA side to participate in cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative", said the Chinese president, referring to the vision he proposed in 2013 of building an infrastructure and trade network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient land and maritime Silk Road routes.

But the two sides avoided any diplomatic gaffes at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida that would have tarnished the meeting in the eyes of the protocol-conscious Chinese.

Like his predecessors in the White House, Trump wants China to do more to influence the North's behaviour, but has gone further than others in threatening to go it alone if Beijing fails to step up to the plate. "We will be making additional progress".

China long has objected to the idea of unilateral USA military action in Syria, saying it prefers a multilateral approach, although over the course of six brutal years of war it has repeatedly used its veto power to vote with Russian Federation against U.N. Security Council resolutions on Syria.

Asked to elaborate, he said simply: "I would just say we view sanctions as being a very important tool, whether it's North Korea or whether it's Syria".




United States options to try to curb North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes include economic and military measures but lean more towards sanctions and increased pressure on Beijing to rein in its reclusive neighbour. Many blue-collar workers helped propel him to his unexpected election victory on November 8 and Trump is under pressure to deliver for them.

Calling the deployment very inappropriate, they warned that North Korea could carry out unexpected provocations if it feels its security is at stake.

"And I believe lots of very potentially bad problems will be going away", he added, without providing details.

Ross declined to say whether the United States was ready to designate China a currency manipulator, however, referring to an upcoming report in which that issue would be addressed. "He also wants to prove to the world that he's not a president-businessman and he will use USA military force without any hesitation when he thinks it is necessary". Some $347 billion of the $502 billion trade deficit recorded by the US past year was with China.

Xi also spoke in mostly positive terms.

Tillerson insisted that Xi was not rattled by Trump's decision: "President Xi expressed an appreciation for the president letting him know and providing the rationale and said, as it was told to me, he understood that such a response is necessary when people are killing children".

In a statement late on Saturday, the US Navy's Third Fleet said the strike group had been directed to sail north, but it did not specify the destination. The strikes were retaliation against Syrian President Bashar Assad for a chemical weapons attack against civilians caught up in his country's long civil war.

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