China’s Xi warns Trump of ‘negative factors’ hurting US ties

President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping walk together after their meetings at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., April, 2017.

 

China’s President lists arms sales to rival Taiwan and US sanctions against a Chinese bank over dealings with North Korea as among the problems.

JULY 3, 2017 Chinese President Xi Jinping warned President Donald Trump on Monday that “some negative factors” are hurting United States-China relations, as tensions flare anew over a slew of long-standing sore points.

Mr. Xi’s comments in a phone call with Mr. Trump follow Beijing’s displeasure over US arms sales to rival Taiwan, US sanctions against a Chinese bank over its dealings with North Korea and, most recently, the sailing of a US destroyer within the territorial seas limit of a Chinese-claimed island in the South China Sea.

Beijing was also miffed after the State Department gave Beijing a dismal grade last week in a new human trafficking report.

According to state media, Xi told Trump in their call that Beijing expects Washington to continue managing relations on the basis of the “one China” principle that rules out formal contacts with Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory.

“Xi Jinping emphasized that, since my meeting with the president at Mar-a-Lago, China-US relations have achieved important outcomes,” state broadcaster China Central Television reported, referring to Xi’s meeting with Trump in Florida in April. “At the same time, bilateral relations have been affected by some negative factors. China has expressed its position to the US”

But it now appears that China is pushing back against the US pressure, setting the stage for a potential confrontation.

China’s foreign ministry accused the US of violating Chinese sovereignty and disrupting “peace, security and order of the relevant waters” after the US Navy destroyer USS Stethem sailed Sunday within 12 nautical miles (22 kilometers) of tiny Triton island, which is claimed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam.

China’s defense ministry issued a similar statement on Monday, saying it would beef up patrols and take precautions commensurate with the threat level to safeguard “national sovereignty and security.”

Trump and his top aides have done little to hide their irritation over what they see as the reluctance by China, North Korea’s main economic partner, to tighten the screws on Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile programs.

Until recently, American officials had been describing China as a partner in their strategy to prevent North Korea from developing the ability to strike the US mainland with nuclear weapons. While China has agreed to sanctions, it is wary of measures that could cause the regime’s collapse, leaving a united, US-backed Korea on its border.

However, Trump hinted last month at his loss of patience, tweeting that his bid to secure a tougher Chinese approach “has not worked out.”

Full article: China’s Xi warns Trump of ‘negative factors’ hurting US ties (Christian Science Monitor)

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