Trump in China amid N Korea tensions

Mr Trump, Mr Xi and their wives watched an opera performance at the Forbidden City

Mr Trump, Mr Xi and their wives watched an opera performance at the Forbidden City

US President Donald Trump is in China for talks likely to be dominated by tensions over North Korea.

His arrival came after a speech to the South Korean parliament in which Mr Trump urged China to further isolate North Korea.

The White House sees China as pivotal in reining in the North’s nuclear aims but Beijing says it is doing enough.

Chinese President Xi Jinping gave a lavish welcome to Mr Trump in what has been called a “state visit-plus”.

Before his visit, Mr Trump piled praise on Mr Xi, saying he was looking forward to meeting the Chinese president after “his great political victory”.

 

Mr Xi recently consolidated his power at a Chinese Communist Party congress, a move analysts say will make him less likely to reach compromise with Mr Trump.

A red carpet, military band and flag-waving children met Mr Trump and his wife Melania when they arrived in Beijing.

 

By contrast, when Barack Obama visited China during the final weeks of his presidency there was no red carpet, in what was seen as a calculated snub.

Mr Trump and First Lady Melania Trump then visited the Forbidden City, for centuries the home of China’s emperors, followed by afternoon tea.

Chinese state media said Mr Trump showed Mr Xi a video of his granddaughter Arabella singing in Mandarin, with Mr Xi describing the recital as worthy of an “A+”.

The Trumps, along with Mr Xi and his wife, were due to dine inside the Forbidden City in what CNN says is an unprecedented honour for a US president.

Later Mr Trump tweeted his thanks to the Chinese leader for “an unforgettable afternoon and evening”.

So the world’s first and second most powerful men have met in Beijing. But which one’s which?

Side by side, as presidents Trump and Xi stood for photographs at Beijing’s Forbidden City, some might wonder.

Mr Trump is seen as weakened at home, beset by scandal and a faltering agenda, and disengaged abroad. Mr Xi is being hailed as the most powerful leader since Chairman Mao, with a vision for Chinese leadership on the global stage.

And while the US president comes here expecting much – help with North Korea, action to reduce the trade deficit – China seems to be seeking little, except in one broad sense. -BBC

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