The decision to strike was made after the president arrived Thursday in Palm Beach for a summit with Chinese president Xi Jinping – a meeting overshadowed by Tomahawk missiles that blasted from two United States warships. -China relations in the future.
Xi’s proposal to “address differences and sensitive issues with constructive approaches, and let people of both countries have a greater sense of gain from the development of China-US relations”, on the other hand, echoes Trump’s aspiration to make foreign relations better serve US interests.
The Syria strike may further complicate the talks. It also said China opposes the use of chemical weapons. To make matters even worse, after the missile strikes last night and Trump’s lugubrious statement afterwards, Tillerson’s comment that this action does not signify any change in policy toward Syria left everyone scratching their heads all over again. Together the USA and China make up 40% of the global economy.
North Korea is a hot issue that China would rather not deal with, but Trump is unlikely to let Xi off easy.
Moreover, comments by Xi suggest that a United States military strike against Syria, ordered by Trump shortly before the two presidents met, didn’t sour the friendly tone of the summit.
In a possible harbinger of the kind of punishments Washington could inflict, a leading Chinese telecoms company, ZTE, was fined almost $900 million in March for shipping sensitive USA -made technology to Iran in violation of US sanctions. For years, the Pentagon chafed at what it saw as the Obama White House’s unwillingness to push back against China.
While emphasizing support for a “political solution” to the Syrian Civil War, Hua refused to answer whether China considers Assad’s regime “the sole legitimate government in Syria” and did not directly criticize the US airstrikes, instead stating, “the Chinese side always opposes the use of force in global relations”.
Since then, China has only increased its island militarization – with a first fighter jet photographed in the Paracel island group this week.
Nevertheless, any military action against North Korea would be substantially more hard and risky.
In their first summit talks that opened in Florida earlier in the day, Xi extended an invitation for Trump to visit China. “That’s one of the things we are going to be talking about”, Trump told reporters ahead of the meeting. “But we have developed a friendship”. The president has previously accused China of undervaluing its currency to boost trade, and accused the country of “stealing” American jobs. Does Beijing have a market economy?
Xi urged the two countries to set up a cooperative priority list for early harvest, advance negotiations on the bilateral investment treaty, and explore the pragmatic cooperation in infrastructure construction and energy, among other areas.
“The two sides agreed to undertake an ambitious agenda and meeting schedule to show progress and demonstrate meaningful results”, he said.
But the two days of talks at Trump’s private estate in Florida were expected to focus on what Trump has described as China’s unfair trade practices and inadequate efforts to halt North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile program.
Trump mostly has won bipartisan praise on Capitol Hill for the response, though some have warned that he must seek congressional authorization going forward.
“I do think it necessarily sends a signal to Xi Jinping that this is a president that means business”, Bonnie Glaser, director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the Guardian, adding, “It will play into how China will view Trump”.