Trump’s diplomatic dance on North Korea tops agenda for meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping

President Trump faces a delicate diplomatic dance on his state visit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, hoping to renew pressure on China to help solve the nuclear standoff with North Korea while seeking a trade relationship more favorable to the United States.

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“I want to just say that President Xi — where we will be tomorrow, China — has been very helpful. We’ll find out how helpful soon,” Trump said Tuesday in a joint news conference in South Korea.

While Trump has publicly touted his strong rapport with Xi, attempting to leverage their personal ties into substantive progress on a number of key issues has had mixed results.

“If we get China, if we get Russia — and we have some other countries, but we want to get most of them — we think that things will happen, and they could happen very quickly,” Trump said Tuesday of the crisis with North Korea.

Trump will be treated Thursday to a welcome ceremony at China’s Great Hall of the People and participate in an extended meeting with Xi, followed by a separate meeting accompanied by a delegation of business leaders.

The meeting follows a landmark speech to the South Korean General Assembly where he directly called out China for supporting Kim Jong Un‘s regime.

“Why would China feel an obligation to help North Korea?” Trump said, calling on China to join other “responsible nations” in isolating Pyongyang. “We call on every nation, including China and Russia, to fully implement U.N. Security Council resolutions, downgrade diplomatic relations with the regime, and sever all ties of trade…

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