Friday 23 August 2019

Donald Trump and Xi Jinping 'reach trade truce' after tensions in recent weeks

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with China's President Xi Jinping at the start of their bilateral meeting at the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 29, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with China's President Xi Jinping at the start of their bilateral meeting at the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 29, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
President Donald Trump meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping, third from right, during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Donald Trump poses for a photo with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

US president Donald Trump declared relations with China were "right back on track" after he and President Xi Jinping sought to de-escalate a prolonged trade war between the economic powerhouses.

Xinhua, the Chinese state-run news agency, said the leaders had agreed to a new ceasefire in a year-long trade war, adding that stalled trade talks would resume and the US would hold off on threatened additional tariffs on Chinese goods.

The apparent truce marks a pattern for talks between Mr Trump and Mr Xi, who have professed their friendship with each other and hit the pause button on protectionist measures after their conversations, only to see negotiations later break down over the contentious details.

White House officials declined immediate comment.

President Donald Trump meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping, third from right, during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Donald Trump meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping, third from right, during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

But Mr Trump said earlier on Saturday that he would make an announcement on the results of his talks with Mr Xi during a news conference later in the day.

Taking place on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan, the meeting with Mr Xi marked the centrepiece of four days of diplomacy for Mr Trump, whose re-election chances have been put at risk by the trade war that has hurt American farmers and battered global markets.

Tensions rose in recent weeks after negotiations collapsed last month.

At a subsequent meeting with Turkey's president, Mr Trump said talks with Mr Xi went "probably even better than expected".

"The negotiations are continuing," he said.

The meeting with Mr Xi is one of three Mr Trump had lined up on Saturday with world leaders displaying authoritarian tendencies.

President Donald Trump poses for a photo with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Donald Trump poses for a photo with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Mr Trump had his first face-to-face sit-down with Saudi Arabia's Mohammed Bin Salman since the US intelligence community concluded that the crown prince directed the killing of Washington Post columnist, and American resident, Jamal Khashoggi last year.

Mr Trump also met with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an ostensible Nato ally whom the US sees as drifting dangerously toward Russia's sphere of influence.

Meeting with the Saudi crown prince, Mr Trump praised his "friend" for taking steps to open up the kingdom and extend freedoms to Saudi women.

Mr Trump, however, ignored reporters' questions about the crown prince's alleged role in Mr Khashoggi's death.

With Mr Erdogan, Mr Trump said the leaders will "look at different solutions" to Turkey's planned purchase of the Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missile system.

US officials have threatened that purchase would halt the sale of the US-made F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, although Mr Erdogan has called it a done deal.

"Turkey has been a friend of ours," Mr Trump said. He blamed the Obama administration for not agreeing to sell US-made Patriot missile batteries to Turkey.

Saturday's meetings came the day after Mr Trump, with a smirk and a finger point, dryly told another authoritarian leader, Russia's Vladimir Putin, "Don't meddle with the election" in their first meeting since the special counsel concluded that Russia extensively interfered with the 2016 campaign.

The diplomacy plays out as Mr Trump's re-election campaign battle is beginning to heat up, a contest that could be partially defined by whether a resolution to the trade war with China can be found before more economic pain is inflicted on Americans.

PA Media

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News