Donald Trump and Xi Jinping attend a welcoming ceremony in Beijing
United States President Donald Trump held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in which U.S. pressed Beijing to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program.
The welcoming ceremony was held in Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Donald Trump and Xi Jinping walked side by side on a red carpet.
U.S. and Chinese national anthems were played by a military band and ceremonial cannon fire from Tiananmen Square saluted Trump. A crowd of jumping and gleeful schoolchildren waved American and Chinese flags.
It is the first visit by Trump to China, which is North Korea’s closest and only remaining significant ally. The U.S. president is expected to request China expel North Korean workers from the country and eliminate some of its other significant remaining dealings with Pyongyang.
The talks between Trump and Xi will also deal with trade, a touchy subject because Trump has long complained about the trade deficit between China and the United States.
China’s trade surplus with the United States has widened by 12.2 percent in the past year, reaching a total of $26.6 billion, according to Chinese customs data.
The two leaders began talks behind closed doors. In the early afternoon, they are to appear jointly before journalists and make statements.
Senior administration officials say Trump will try to convince Xi when they meet in Beijing to squeeze North Korea with steps such as limits on oil exports, coal imports and financial transactions.
China says its leverage over Pyongyang is exaggerated, and points to its support in the U.N. Security Council for recent sanctions on North Korea as evidence that it is trying to curtail the isolated nation’s nuclear and missile tests.