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Xi and Trump Speak on Momentum on the Korean Peninsula and Greater China-U.S. Cooperation

Jan. 16, 2018 (EIRNS)—U.S. President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping spoke by phone today, where they discussed the situation on the Korean Peninsula, and more cooperation between their own nations, including on trade and economic affairs. No read-out was provided yet by the White House, but China Daily reported on the substance on the call.

On the positive developments of the two Koreas holding talks, Xi said that the momentum is hard-won, and, as reported, “It is vital for the international community to stay united over the issue.” Xi said that China stands ready to continue working with the U.S. on this, towards a proper solution. Trump responded with appreciation of China’s significant role in resolving the Korean Peninsula problem, and expressed his willingness to strengthen coordination with China on the matter.

This point, and the timing of the Trump-Xi call is especially significant, given the meeting today of the “Vancouver Group” on the Korean Peninsula, which conspicuously excludes China and Russia. In his other points on the phone call, reported by China Daily, Xi said that there should be economic and trade cooperation towards, “making the cake of cooperation bigger.”

On relations with the U.S., Xi expounded on their significance and how they should be expanded. CCTV quoted Xi as saying,

“China and the U.S. should keep their exchanges at all levels, fully utilize the four high-level dialogue mechanisms and hold second-round talks when appropriate.”

Xi identified certain sectors important for advancing relations between the two nations. According to China Daily, these are:

“cooperation between the two militaries, in law-enforcement, drug control, cultural and people-to- people exchanges and cooperation on local levels, as well as close communication and coordination on major international and regional issues.”

Trump affirmed that the U.S. holds its relations with China in great importance, and is willing to

“enhance bilateral exchanges at all levels, expand pragmatic cooperation, and properly handle problems in bilateral trade, so as to achieve even greater results in bilateral relations.”

Overall, Xi said that China-U.S. relations have been stable, and achieved significant progress in 2017. He did single out contingencies, including that, “The two sides need to meet each other halfway...[and] respect each other’s core interests.”