Donald Trump is in China this week to meet with Xi Jinping. Earlier today, the American and Chinese leaders met at the Great Hall of the People to discuss important issues regarding the Sino-US relationship.
We've compiled some quotes and key issues they talked about today.
Trump confirmed the two countries would sign a trade deal worth USD250 billion during a meeting that included top business leaders from companies like General Motors, GE, Goldman Sachs and more. In a controversial quote making the rounds online today, Trump had this to say about the trade deficit:
"I don't blame China. After all, who can blame a country for being able to take advantage of another country for benefit of their citizens? I give China great credit.
“But in actuality I do blame past administrations for allowing this out of control trade deficit to take place and to grow. We have to fix this because it just doesn’t work … it is just not sustainable.”
Xi also added his own remarks, welcoming the international business community to China:
"To keep opening up is our long term strategy. We will not narrow or close our doors. We will open wider and wider...
"I will encourage Chinese businesses to do more investment in US and at the same time, invite more US companies to take part in One Belt One Road."
All in all, 15 documents were signed on issues including shale gas, liquefied natural gas, industrial cooperation, vehicles and aircraft engines, according to a White House pool report.
Shortly after the talks, AFP reported that China signed a USD37 billion deal to buy 300 Boeing planes.
2. Sino-US Ties
"The China-US relationship now stands at a new starting point," said Xi Jinping during today's meetings. Take a look at a full (unedited) transcript here.
Some highlights from Xi's remarks, via CNN:
"'As two distinctive countries our two sides may have different views or differences on some issues. This is natural,' Xi said during press statements at the Great Hall of the People. 'They key is to properly handle and manage them.'
"Supporting a 'constructive approach,' Xi encouraged the two nations to 'put aside and diffuse differences while at the same time building common ground.'
'The Pacific is big enough to accommodate both China and the United States," Xi said, which drew a smile from Trump.'"
Xi also said that it was "natural" for the US and China to sometimes disagree, but that the two countries must work together to find mutual agreement on key issues. "As I told President Trump, the Pacific Ocean is big enough to accommodate both China and the US," said Xi.
"It's an honor to be with you and there can be no more important subject than China-US relations. We have between us — and we have to include other countries who could come in — we have the capacity to solve world problems for many years to come...
"My feeling toward you is an incredibly warm one. As we said there's great chemistry and I think we're going to do tremendous things both for China and the United States. And it is a very, very great honor to be with you. Thank you very much...
"I just want to thank you for the warm welcome and I look forward to many years of success and friendship, working together to solve not only our problems, but world problems and problems of great danger and security. I believe we can solve almost all of them and probably all of them."
3. North Korea
Donald Trump praised China's recent efforts to help with the DPRK's nuclear weapons issue, but warned: "Time is quickly running out. We must act fast, and hopefully China will act faster and more effectively on this problem than anyone."
He added: "All nations must unite to stop arming and financing, and even trading with the murderous North Korean regime."
And: "Now’s the time to liberate this region from the nuclear armed menace North Korea."
And also: “I know one thing about your president: if he works on it hard it will happen. There is no doubt about it.”
Meanwhile, Xi Jinping said: "On the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, we reiterated the firm commitment to achieving the complete denuclearization of the peninsula."
According to the White House pool report, Xi never addressed North Korea by name and instead lumped the topic together with other major international and regional issues.
Trump said that Xi Jinping promised China would cut off all banking ties with North Korea.
4. Military & Terrorism
Trump and Xi agreed to step up counterrorism operations in the Middle East, and to making UN peacekeeping operations stronger.
Added Trump: "President Xi and I also committed to working towards a peaceful future for Afghanistan."
The two also discussed repatriating fugitives. "Both sides agreed neither wants to be a safe haven of the other's fugitives," said Xi.
US Defense Secretary James Mattis was confirmed to be visiting China, while a Chinese military delegation would be arranged to visit the States.
Trump, on freedom: "The US continues to advocate for reforms that advance economic freedoms, individual rights and the rule of law."
Trump on having more people, particularly those of younger generations, build up exchanges between the two countries:
“In the coming months and years, I look forward to building an even stronger relationship between our countries, China and the United States of America, and even closer friendships and relationships between the people of our countries."
[Top image via BBC]
Click here to see more coverage of Trump's visit to Beijing.