Published: Thu, November 09, 2017
Technology | By Russell Knight

China's trade surplus with United States eases as Trump visits

China's trade surplus with United States eases as Trump visits

Trump, who has used an iPhone for Twitter posts, could use some options available to people in China to evade the Great Firewal though USA presidents in any case travel with their own sophisticated communications systems.

Observers expect Beijing to go on a charm offensive, wooing the attention-sensitive, ego-conscious American leader with what is described as an unprecedented "state visit-plus" by Chinese officials and the media.

Trump was so pleased with the first day of his visit that he used special technology to circumvent China's internet censorship system and post a message to Xi on Twitter, which is banned in the country.

Trump temporarily shelved trade complaints in April after meeting Xi, hoping to cajole Beijing into helping on North Korea.

Focused on developing "personal chemistry" between the two leaders, Chinese officials say the programme for Mr. Trump has been carefully structured so that he can spend maximum time together with his Chinese counterpart. "It has to come down", Trump said Monday in Japan, before signaling that the United States "will take very, very strong action" against countries that he believes have taken advantage of the US.

"You can not support, you can not supply, you can not accept", he said, calling on "every nation, including China and Russian Federation", to fully implement UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea. "China would also like to import some high-tech items, but the USA doesn't want to sell us those".

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Trump's words drew a caustic response from North Korean state media, which issued a statement Wednesday saying the USA should "oust the lunatic old man from power" and withdraw its "hostile policy" toward Pyongyang "in order to get rid of the abyss of doom". "China's out trying very hard to solve the problem with North Korea". China is North Korea's largest trading partner and Trump is expected to demand that the nation curtail its dealings with Pyongyang and expel North Korean workers from its borders.

The White House said Trump would use the two-night trip to request China cut its financial links with North Korea and to abide by United Nations sanctions, Reuters news agency reported.

South Korean legislators applauded as the U.S. president, whose tour of Asia has been dominated by fears over nuclear-armed North Korea, vowed not to be intimidated and warned Pyongyang it should not test American resolve.

Like his predecessors, Trump is assessing how to deal with a rising China, balancing the costs of pushing the authoritarian government for political and economic reforms with the benefits of maintaining productive partnerships with the world's second-largest economy.

Trump and First Lady Melania were greeted at the airport by a military band before they headed to the Forbidden City to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan.

Forbidden City in Beijing, China, on March 2, 2015. It's usually teeming with tourists but was closed to the public for the presidential visit.

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Chatting over cups of tea, Trump showed Xi a video of his granddaughter Arabella Kushner singing in Mandarin and reciting classical Chinese poetry, prompting Xi to compliment her performance as worthy of an "A+", Chinese state media said.

But Trump hasn't imposed double-digit tariffs on Chinese imports. And he laughed and clapped along during an outdoor opera featuring colorful costumes, martial arts and atonal music.

"China had to realize that Trump needed to learn about China", he says, "and during this learning process, we had to stay cool and patient".

Such contract signings are a fixture of visits by foreign leaders to China and often involve agreements negotiated weeks or months earlier that Beijing saved to showcase its importance as a market.

"Achieving fair and reciprocal treatment for the companies is a shared objective", Ross said. But according to the US' own data, its jobless rate dropped from 9.6 per cent in 2010 to 4.9 per cent in 2016, while its trade of goods deficit surged from less than $700 billion to $796.7 billion over the same period, indicating that a rise in its trade deficit is not accompanied by a loss of jobs.

And while it was down from September's $28.2 billion, that figure marked the highest monthly surplus in at least three years.

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