Beijing, Nov 9 (IANS) US President Donald Trump lavished praise on Chinese leader Xi Jinping here on Thursday, touting “great chemistry” between them, while refusing to criticize his counterpart for the trade imbalance.
Speaking at a joint appearance with Xi in front of business leaders, Trump said the US trade relationship with China is “a very one-sided and unfair one”.
But he quickly added: “I don’t blame China. Who can blame a country that is able to take advantage of another country for the benefit of its citizens? I give China great credit.”
During the presidential campaign, Trump accused China of “raping” the US economy and threatened to label the country a “currency manipulator”, the Washington Post reported.
In his remarks here, Trump reiterated that the US must “change its policies” but he offered no details about actions his administration will pursue.
“We’ve gotten so far behind on trade with China and frankly many other countries,” Trump said ahead of a bilateral meeting with Xi, before adding he has “great respect” for Xi for “representing China”.
Trump blamed past US administrations “for having allowed it to get so far out of kilter. We’ll make it fair, and it’ll be tremendous for both of us. My feeling towards you is incredibly warm. We have great chemistry. I think we’ll do tremendous things, China and the US”.
The two countries announced MoUs to increase trade by $253 billion, which the leaders said was a sign of greater cooperation.
In contrast to Trump’s effusive praise, Xi appeared reserved and spoke in carefully scripted language about “win-win” cooperation and a “new starting point” for the bilateral relationship. He vowed to work together in the “spirit of mutual respect and mutual benefit”.
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