Trump boosts coal as China takes the lead on climate change

Tammy Harvey
April 7, 2017

When U.S. President Donald Trump hosts Chinese President Xi Jinping for their first face-to-face visit, discussions on trade and North Korea's nuclear weapons program likely will top the agenda.

There may also be offers to further open China's auto and agricultural markets, insiders say, and even some concessions on Chinese banks' transactions with North Korea, a vital financial lifeline for the country. Meanwhile, China imported less than $10 billion worth of USA goods during the same month. Relations between China and the United States have always been precarious, but previous USA administrations have tended to avoid any direct altercations with China. This will be a particularly touchy topic as Trump aggressively went after China on the campaign trail in an effort to stand up for US manufacturers. Others in the crowd, wearing red and waving US and Chinese flags, were there in support of China's leader.

"It's a venue that connotes the USA president is interested in building a personal relationship with Xi Jinping", said Evan Medeiros, former National Security Commission China director in the Obama administration.

"No president has taken care of this the way they should have", he added. In February the U.S. imported almost $33 billion worth of goods from Beijing, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Still, it's anyone's guess as to how the meeting between Trump and Xi will go.

An administration official told reporters during a briefing on Tuesday that the "clock is very, very quickly running out" and all options are on the table, though the White House has declined to be specific. "At the same time, they do continue to talk about Trump as a deal maker, Trump as a pragmatist, they see him as more potentially more flexible, less ideological and therefore someone with whom they can make a deal", he said. Missiles have also been launched by Pyongyang in connection with US and South Korean joint military exercises. That, on the Chinese side, is enough.

U.S. officials see this as part of a long-term Chinese bid to deny United States forces access to the strategic sea, a key global trade route.

As China has burned gargantuan amounts of coal to accelerate the development of its economy, residents of its mega cities have had to deal with choking smog at levels not seen in the United States since passage of the Clean Air Act in 1970. -China relationship, to find areas for the countries to come together.

"I can say that there is no such thing as some kind of a trade along the lines of what you just mentioned, though", he said in response to a question on the possibility that Xi might want Trump to abide by the "One China" principle in exchange for China's cooperation on the North Korea issue.

By noon, dozens of demonstrators had gathered in West Palm Beach, at the corner of Southern Boulevard and Flagler Avenue, to stake out positions along the route Trump's motorcade is expected to take when he arrives this afternoon. "Ninety percent of North Korea's external trade is with China". Prior to taking office, Trump said he was separating himself from the daily operations of his businesses, but because he refused to divest his ownership, the sale still personally benefited the president. Trump has threatened time and time again to challenge the current relationship the United States has with China, underscoring an "America First" approach to manufacturing and trading, one that he has repeatedly emphasized in speeches and on Twitter.

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