BEIJING: United States President Donald Trump has hailed his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, as a "highly respected and powerful representative of his people" and called his meeting with him "very productive" on both trade and the subject of North Korea.
"My meetings with President Xi Jinping were very productive on both trade and the subject of North Korea. He is a highly respected and powerful representative of his people. It was great being with him and Madame Peng Liyuan!" Trump said in a tweet.
President Trump also accused his predecessors for the US' annual trade deficit with China. "I don't blame China, I blame the incompetence of past Admins for allowing China to take advantage of the U.S. on trade leading up to a point where the US is losing $100's of billions. How can you blame China for taking advantage of people that had no clue? I would`ve done same!" Trump tweeted.
Trump visited China as part of a nearly two-week tour through Asia and sought to convince president Xi to do more to reduce a trade deficit with China and rein in nuclear-armed North Korea.
Trump is scheduled to attend an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Vietnam and a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in the Philippines during the trip.
His warm tone during the visit contrasted sharply to the rhetoric of his 2016 presidential campaign, in which he repeatedly attacked China, saying at one rally that "We can';t continue to allow China to rape our country, and that's what they`re doing. It's the greatest theft in the history of the world".
The two countries also announced memorandums of understanding to increase trade by $253 billion, which the leaders said was a sign of greater cooperation. The deals include purchases of Boeing aircraft, Ford automobiles, US soybeans and joint development of liquified natural gas in Alaska.