China and America are largely world’s apart on ways to resolve differences between them, including major geopolitical issues.
Beijing urges diplomatic outreach with Pyongyang and cessation of provocative US/South Korean military exercises the DPRK believes are preparations for war on its country.
Washington categorically refuses to end decades of unjustifiable hostility toward North Korea, choosing confrontation over responsible outreach, risking unthinkable war on the peninsula, possibly going nuclear by accident or design.
Beijing and Moscow want provocative US THAAD missile systems removed from South Korea, threatening their territory. The Trump administration is unbending, keeping them deployed, intending new installations – aimed mostly at China and Russia aggressively.
Unacceptable US air and sea incursions encroaching on China’s territory remain a major sticking point between both countries.
So are arms sales to Taiwan and economic relations. Trump’s “America first” agenda risks initiating a trade war – last November saying “(w)e can’t continue to allow China to rape our country.”
“That’s what they’re doing. It’s the greatest theft in the history of the world.” He threatened a “tit-for-tat approach” through imposition of tariffs on certain Chinese imports.
Trump and Xi Jinping spoke several times by phone. On Saturday, they met for the second time on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany.
Both agree on Korean peninsula denuclearization. Xi stressed the need for both countries to show mutual respect and cooperation on regional and international issues – to keep bilateral relations positive.
Trump said he and Xi have a “wonderful relationship,” expressing confidence both leaders can achieve “success” in addressing common issues of concern.
“Trade is a…very, very big issue for the United States,” he stressed, adding “we’re going to turn that around.” On North Korea, he said “there will be success in the end one way or the other.”
Trump is scheduled to pay a state visit to China later this year. Focus will be on continuing discussion of major issues both countries agree and disagree on.
Resolving latter ones will likely remain unattainable. Washington wants all countries observing its rules. China insists its sovereign rights be respected – yielding them to no other country.
A rocky bilateral relationship looks likely to continue – Xi under no illusion about America changing how it operates, hoping to make the best out of a bad situation.