- President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he would speak to Chinese President Xi Jinping that morning.
- It came just moments after Chinese media confirmed that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had visited the country and met with Xi.
- Trump’s administration and China are locked in trade talks, which Trump wants to use to decrease China’s trade surplus with the US.
- Meanwhile, China has been left behind in the fast-moving talks between North Korea, South Korea, and the US.
- Kim’s surprise trip to China could have been part of Xi’s attempts to get back in on the action.
President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that he would speak to Chinese President Xi Jinping, just moments after Chinese media confirmed that Xi had met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in a surprise bilateral visit.
“I will be speaking to my friend, President Xi of China, this morning at 8:30. The primary topics will be Trade, where good things will happen, and North Korea, where relationships and trust are building,” Trump tweeted.
Trump’s administration and China are currently locked in slow-moving trade talks. Trump wants to use them to decrease China’s trade surplus with the US, while cracking down on what the US sees as Chinese theft of intellectual property.
Meanwhile, inter-Korean talks and diplomacy from Kim has gotten off to a running start. The formerly reclusive Kim made history as the first leader of his country to enter South Korea last month, and also made his first journey outside of North Korea since 2011 a few weeks before that.
Experts who spoke to Business Insider say that the lightning pace of diplomacy between North Kore, the US, and South Korea may have unsettled China.
China sees the US’s missile defences and forces in South Korea as a serious threat, designed in part to contain Beijing -but North Korea has not asked the US to reduce its forces in exchange for denuclearization.
After the summit between Kim and Trump was accepted, China appeared to race to have its own summit with Kim, who visited Beijing just weeks later.
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