Donald Trump has lavished praise on the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, and blamed his own predecessors for the “huge” trade deficit between the world’s two largest economies, during his official welcome to Beijing amid an explosion of military splendour and staged adulation. Speaking on Thursday at the the Great Hall of the People, the ceremonial heart of Communist party rule, Trump paid tribute to his “warm and gracious” host, and said he appreciated Xi’s support for recent efforts to rein in North Korea’s weapons programmes. During his presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly criticised China, accusing it of “raping” the US economy and being the country’s “enemy”. But on the second day of his visit to Beijing as part of his 12-day tour of east Asia, the president struck a far softer tone. “Trade between China and the United States has not been, over the last many, many years, a very fair one for us,” Trump told an audience of business leaders and journalists, describing the relationship as “shockingly” unbalanced and costing the US $300bn (£229bn) a year. However, to an audible gasp from the audience, the US president went on to suggest that it was not China to blame, but the… Read full this story
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