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Trump lands in China for talks with Xi amid N Korea tensions

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Media captionAir Force One arrives in the Chinese capital Beijing

US President Donald Trump has arrived in China for talks likely to be dominated by tensions over North Korea’s nuclear programme.

He landed in Beijing, where Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping has a lavish welcome planned for him.

Earlier, in a speech to the South Korean parliament, Mr Trump urged China to sever ties with North Korea.

Mr Trump is in China as part of a five-nation tour of Asia. He has also visited Japan so far.

Before his arrival, Mr Trump piled praise on Mr Xi, saying he was looking forward to meeting the Chinese president after “his great political victory”.

Mr Xi recently consolidated his power at a Chinese Communist Party congress, a move analysts say will make him less likely to reach compromise with Mr Trump.

The US president and his wife Melania have visited the Forbidden City, for centuries the home of China’s emperors, followed by afternoon tea.

Dining inside the Forbidden City is an unprecedented hour for a US president, CNN reports, a sign of what’s been dubbed a “state visit-plus”.

What did Trump say about North Korea?

His arrival came just hours after his speech in the South Korean capital Seoul, in which he described North Korea as “a hell that no person deserves”.

North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme has sparked international alarm, with Pyongyang carrying out its biggest nuclear test yet in September.

In typically stark language, Mr Trump warned the North: “Do not underestimate us. Do not try us.”

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Media captionTrump to N Korea: ‘Your weapons are not making you safer’

But there were hints though he might be open to a deal, telling the North “we will offer you a path for a better future”.

Singling out Russia and China, he urged “all responsible nations” to isolate the North, and fully implement UN sanctions, downgrade diplomatic ties and sever trade and technology ties.

“You cannot support, you cannot supply, you cannot accept,” he said.

China is North Korea’s largest trading partner and only major ally, but says it is committed to the UN sanctions and argues its leverage is overestimated.

What other difficulties might they encounter?

Despite having congratulated Mr Xi on his political ascendency, Mr Trump has been a vocal critic over what he sees as unfair Chinese trade practises.

During his presidential campaign, he called Beijing a currency manipulator and accused it of stealing US jobs.

He is expected to seek ways to reduce what he has called the “embarrassing” US trade deficit with China.

There have been questions over whether Mr Trump would use his favoured communications platform Twitter while in China, where it is banned.

But a White House official has said “the president will tweet whatever he wants”.

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