WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday discussed Xi’s meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the White House said.
Xi and Kim met Monday and Tuesday in China. It was the second meeting between the Asian leaders and followed Kim’s visit to Beijing in March.
Trump is preparing for his own meeting with Kim in late May or early June. An announcement about the date and location is expected soon, Trump said last week.
The U.S. president is scheduled to meet at the White House on May 22 with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who also recently met with Kim. Kim agreed at the summit with Moon to a number of measures aimed at improving ties between the Koreas. He also indicated a willingness to discuss denuclearization of the peninsula, though exactly what that would entail remains unexplained.
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Trump had tweeted early Tuesday that he would be speaking with Xi and that they would discuss trade and North Korea.
Trump and Xi agreed on the importance of continuing to implement sanctions on North Korea until it permanently dismantles its nuclear and missile programs, the White House said. Trump also stated his commitment to a trade relationship with China that is “balanced and benefits American businesses and workers.”
Chinese state broadcaster China Central Television said Xi described relations with the U.S. as being at an “important stage.”
Tensions between the world’s two largest economies have been heightened over a soaring trade imbalance and technology disputes.
Xi said economic and trade cooperation has always been a ballast stone and propeller for China-U.S. relations. He described trade talks with U.S. representatives in Beijing last week as “frank, efficient and constructive” and said the two sides can maintain communication and work toward solutions that bring mutual benefits.
“I attach great importance to developing bilateral relations and cherish the good working relationship with the president,” Xi said, referring to Trump.
Xi said the two countries should maintain exchanges at various levels, “respect each other, benefit each other, focus on cooperation, control differences,” and promote healthy and stable ties.
Associated Press writer Gillian Wong in Beijing contributed to this report.