Trump: Chinese president ‘likes me a lot’

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President Trump on Monday cheered his relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“I like him and I believe he likes me a lot,” he said at a White House reception for conservative media outlets, according to the Washington Examiner.

Trump added that he is reluctant to challenge China for its currency manipulation, adding he needs Xi’s “real power” over North Korea to cool tensions in Asia.

{mosads}“It’s really tough,” he said of criticizing Xi. “I spoke to him last night for an hour, it’s really tough to be saying, ‘Thanks, by the way you’re a currency manipulator.’

“How can I do it when they are helping us with a potentially horrific conflict? It’s supposed to be art of the deal, that’s not the art of the deal.”

Xi reportedly told Trump during a Monday phone call that China desires restraint in dealing with North Korea.

“[China hopes] the parties concerned will exercise restraint and avoid actions that aggravate tensions on the Peninsula,” the state-run Xinhua news agency reported of the call.

“Xi noted that if the parties shoulder their due responsibilities and meet each other halfway, they can solve the nuclear issue of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.”

Trump has repeatedly pressured China to help solve rising tensions over North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapon programs.

“China is very much the economic lifeline to North Korea, so while nothing is easy, if they want to solve the North Korea problem, they will,” he tweeted last week.

Tensions between the U.S. and North Korea over the latter’s pursuit of nuclear weapons has raised concerns about military conflict between the two nations.

According to CNN, Trump said Monday night at the same reception that he’s “not so sure” that Kim Jong Un is “so strong like he says he is, I’m not so sure at all.” 

Tags China Diplomacy Donald Trump Foreign policy North Korea Nuclear weapons Politics Xi Jinping

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