Trump, Xi present united front despite differences

BEIJING (AP) — President Donald Trump sought to present a united front with Chinese President Xi Jinping following two days of meetings Thursday, despite lingering differences over trade and North Korea.

On trade, Trump criticized the “very one-sided and unfair” trade relationship between the U.S. and China. But he stopped short of castigating Xi, saying he doesn’t blame the country for having taken advantage of the U.S. in the past.

Trump said China “must immediately address the unfair trade practices that drive” what he said is a “shockingly” large trade deficit, along with barriers to market access, forced technology transfers and intellectual property theft. “But I don’t blame China,” he said. “After all, who can blame a country for being able to take advantage of another country for the benefit of its citizens?”

To applause, Trump said: “I give China great credit.”

His Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered a blunter assessment of China’s trade surplus with the United States, which in October widened by 12.2 percent from a year earlier, to $26.6 billion. The total surplus with the United States for the first 10 months of the year was $223 billion.

BEIJING (AP) — President Donald Trump sought to present a united front with Chinese President Xi Jinping following two days of meetings Thursday, despite lingering differences over trade and North Korea.

On trade, Trump criticized the “very one-sided and unfair” trade relationship between the U.S. and China. But he stopped short of castigating Xi, saying he doesn’t blame the country for having taken advantage of the U.S. in the past.

Trump said China “must immediately address the unfair trade practices that drive” what he said is a “shockingly” large trade deficit, along with barriers to market access, forced technology transfers and intellectual property theft. “But I don’t blame China,” he said. “After all, who can blame a country for being able to take advantage of another country for the benefit of its citizens?”

To applause, Trump said: “I give China great credit.”

His Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered a blunter assessment of China’s trade surplus with the United States, which in October widened by 12.2 percent from a year earlier, to $26.6 billion. The total surplus with the United States for the first 10 months of the year was $223 billion.