Your quick guide to the outcomes of landmark Xi-Trump summit

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 April, 2017, 11:53am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 April, 2017, 11:24pm

President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump have concluded their two-day talks at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida.

During the visit, Trump ditched his trademark anti-China bombast, hailing the “tremendous progress” made in Sino-US relations and saying he had developed a friendship with Xi.

Both sides pledged to deepen bilateral ties and reached consensus on several thorny issues.

Analysing the statements released by the two sides after the event, we give you a summary of the issues the two nations have agreed on and where they remain divided.

What China and US agreed on

Trade

US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said both sides agreed on a bold “100-day plan” to address their trade imbalance. Without giving details of the plan, Ross said it symbolised “growing rapport between the two countries”. Xi was quoted by state-run news agency Xinhua as saying China would continue to boost internal demand and its service industry.

Dialogue

A new US-China Comprehensive Dialogue headed by the two presidents will be established. The mechanism will have four pillars overseeing diplomatic and security, economic, law enforcement and cybersecurity, and social and culture issues.

Xi, Trump agree on trade, military talks but appear at odds over North Korea

Xi said a dialogue between the chief of joint staff of the two nations would soon be set up. The new dialogues are meant to replace the existing Strategic and Economic Dialogue, which critics say have failed to produce concrete results.

Where they are at odds

North Korea

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said both nations had agreed to rein in North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme. But he also said “there was no kind of a package arrangement discussed” and that the United States was prepared to take its own action even without China.

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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China supported denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, but added that military action should be stopped in exchange for Pyongyang halting its nuclear programme, Xinhua reported. Beijing had previously warned against military action against North Korea, and said that simply imposing sanctions on Pyongyang was not the way to resolve the issue.

Maritime disputes

Tillerson said the two nations had “candid discussions on maritime security”, with Trump saying that international norms in the East and South China Sea should be upheld and reiterating his stance against militarisation of the disputed waters.

Xi only said the two militaries should fully utilise the code of unexpected encounters. He made no mention of the maritime disputes.

What wasn’t mentioned

Taiwan

Political observers had expected Xi to use the summit to make Trump reiterate Washington’s commitment to the one-China policy regarding Taiwan.

Trump had first reaffirmed the US’ decades-old one-China policy in a phone call with Xi in February. The policy, which recognises that Taiwan is part of China, has been the bedrock of Sino-US ties for four decades.

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But both sides’ statements after the talks made no mention of Taiwan. It is unclear whether the issue was raised at all during the meetings, or if Xi failed to get Trump to reiterate the commitment.

Infrastructure

Asked whether Xi had come with infrastructure investments to show Beijing’s commitment to creating more jobs in the US, US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said: “The best gift was [Xi’s] presence and the relationship that was built up between our President and President Xi”.

What China’s statement mentioned but was left out of the US’

One Belt, One Road

Xi said China welcomed US participation in the One Belt, One Road initiative, but the US side made no mention of it.

Fugitives

Xi also said China’s anti-corruption drive was in full swing and that he hoped the US would cooperate in sending Chinese fugitives back to the mainland. The statement from the US side made no mention of that.