US President Donald Trump held talks on Thursday with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping following his elaborate welcome ceremony. Trump is expected to raise with the Chinese president the issue of North Korea’s nuclear ambition.
Trump is being accorded ‘state welcome plus’ by China after his arrival in Beijing on a three-day visit on Wednesday. He was received this morning by Xi at the Great Hall of the People after which the two leaders attended welcome ceremony, telecast live.
Chinese troops from all the three services presented a guard of honour with a 21-gun salute.Earlier, the two leaders introduced their official delegation to each other. Trump also introduced his son-in-law Jared Kushner to Xi.
They later began delegation-level talks during which crisis over the North Korea’s nuclear programme and the massive trade deficit in favour China in bilateral trade is expected to dominate.
China is the crucial stop in Trump’s five-nation tour of Asia. Earlier during the trip, Trump had asked North Korea to make a deal to end its nuclear weapons programme, while also warning it against further provocation against the US and the world.
He also urged China to sever ties with Pyongyang and reiterated calls for Beijing to ramp up pressure. China has maintained it is doing all it can and insists it is fully enforcing UN sanctions.
Trump’s tough South Asia policy under which the US is putting pressure on China’s close ally Pakistan to crack down on terror safe havens is also expected to be discussed during the talks.
Trump is also scheduled to meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and attend a reception followed by a state dinner and cultural performances.
Xi, who has been described by Trump as ‘King of China’ after the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) in its once-in-a-five-year Congress conferred him a second five-year term, also hosted Trump and his wife Melania at China’s 15th century Forbidden City.
During his reception to Trump on Wednesday, Xi said he believed Trump’s state visit to China would achieve “positive and important” results.
Since Trump took office in January, the two leaders have maintained close contact. They already have had two face-to-face meetings and eight phone conversations.