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Trump China visit: US leader strikes warmer tone with Xi Jinping

China's President Xi Jinping (L) and US President Donald Trump review Chinese honour guards during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on 9 November 2017.Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption The two men were greeted with Chinese honour guards at their arrival at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People

US President Donald Trump has struck a warmer tone in China, praising leader Xi Jinping on his handling of the North Korean nuclear threat.

At the same time, he urged Mr Xi to “work very hard” on persuading North Korea to denuclearise.

Mr Trump also surprised many when he said he does “not blame China” for “taking advantage” of the US, in reference to their trade deficit.

The US president was speaking in Beijing while on a state visit.

He is in the Chinese capital as part of his five-nation tour of Asia. The two leaders held talks earlier on Thursday after a grand welcome for Mr Trump.

Discussion on how to deal with North Korea’s threats to the region has dominated Mr Trump’s agenda and China is Pyongyang’s main economic ally.

Mr Xi and Mr Trump also announced that their countries had signed $250bn (£190bn) in business deals during Mr Trump’s visit, although it is unclear how much of that figure is past deals being re-announced or potential deals.

Earlier in the trip, Mr Trump urged North Korea to make a deal to end its nuclear weapons programme, while also warning it against further provocation against the US and the world, saying: “Do not try us.”

He also urged China to sever ties with Pyongyang and reiterated calls for Beijing to ramp up pressure. China has maintained it is doing all it can and insists it is fully enforcing UN sanctions.

The US leader will attend a state dinner later on Thursday.

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Media captionWhy the US president keeps mentioning Indo-Pacific

Mr Trump flew into Beijing on Wednesday and was greeted with great pomp and ceremony, in what was billed as a “state visit-plus”.

It prompted at least two tweets from Mr Trump where he enthusiastically thanked Mr Xi.

Mr Trump has tweeted at least four times since arriving in China – where Twitter is banned. But a White House official told reporters that he would “tweet whatever he wants”.

As part of his Asia trip Mr Trump has already visited South Korea and Japan, and will go on to Vietnam and the Philippines later in the week.

What’s Trump done so far in Asia?

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