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  • The two leaders spoke a week after their envoys sealed a “Phase 1” agreement aimed at ending an 18-month trade war that has rattled markets and raised tensions

    The two leaders spoke a week after their envoys sealed a “Phase 1” agreement aimed at ending an 18-month trade war that has rattled markets and raised tensions | Photo: Reuters

Published 20 December 2019
Opinion

In a phone call, Xi told Trump that his country is deeply concerned about “the negative words and deeds” of the United States on issues related to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet.

Despite U.S. President Donald Trump claiming progress on issues from trade to North Korea and Hong Kong, Chinese leader Xi Jinping accused the United States of interfering in its internal affairs.

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The two leaders spoke a week after their envoys sealed a “Phase 1” agreement aimed at ending an 18-month trade war that has rattled markets and raised tensions. A White House official said they spoke on Friday morning. China Central Television said the conversation was a request from the U.S. president.

“Had a very good talk with President Xi of China concerning our giant Trade Deal. China has already started a large scale purchase of agricultural products & more. Formal signing being arranged. Also talked about North Korea, where we are working with China, & Hong Kong (progress!)” Trump tweeted.

Xinhua news agency said Xi told Trump that his country is deeply concerned about “the negative words and deeds” of the United States on issues related to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet. “These actions have interfered in China’s internal affairs, harmed China’s interests and undermined mutual trust and cooperation between the two sides,” Xinhua reported.

China was angered when Trump last month signed legislation that authorizes sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials.

Also, China and Russia on Monday proposed that the U.N. Security Council lift a ban on North Korea exports such as seafood and textiles, in a move the Russian U.N. envoy said was aimed at encouraging talks between Washington and Pyongyang.

The State Department, in response, said the U.N. Security Council should not consider “premature sanctions relief” for North Korea as it is “threatening to conduct an escalated provocation, refusing to meet to discuss denuclearization.”

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng met U.S. special envoy for North Korea Stephen Biegun on Friday, China’s foreign ministry said, Biegun’s second high-level meeting in Beijing in two days amid growing tension on the Korean peninsula.

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