Trump says US will act alone in North Korea if China fails to help
US President also said that China was a "world champion" in terms of currency manipulation and trade. On Thursday and Friday, Trump will hold his first meeting with President Xi Jinping, whom he will welcome to his Mar-a-Lago country club.
Donald Trump has issued China with an ultimatum that if it fails to put pressure on North Korea to disable its nuclear programme, then the US is prepared to take action against Pyongyang on its own.
“Well, if China is not going to solve North Korea, we will,” the president said in an interview with the Financial Times published on Sunday.
When asked if he believed that the US could deal with that threat without China's help, Trump responded with one word: "Totally."
Trump on Thursday and Friday will hold his first meeting with President Xi Jinping, whom he will welcome to his Mar-a-Lago country club in southeastern Florida.
Upon being asked if he expected to reach an accord with Xi, Trump said that he had "great respect" for the Chinese leader and for China, adding that he would not be surprised if - at their meeting - Beijing and Washington were to do something "dramatic" and good for both countries.
He added that he will discuss North Korea with Xi, given that China has great "influence" with that adjacent country.
The president went on to say that China will be able to decide whether or not to help Washington on North Korea, stating that if Beijing was to help the US it would be "very good" for China, but if not it would not be good for anyone.
When asked what the incentive would be for China to negotiate, Trump said "trade," adding that his administration will tell Beijing that it cannot continue negotiating if an "unfair" trade deal, such as the one that currently exists - he claimed - continues to stand.
He said that China was a "world champion" in terms of currency manipulation, devaluation, adding that the US - for a long time, and particularly under the preceding Barack Obama administration - had not had any idea how to counter that.
When asked by the daily about strategies he might use to influence North Korea, Trump responded that he was not going to specify anything, adding that "You know, I am not the United States of the past where we tell you where we are going to hit in the Middle East. ... And why are they talking? There is no reason to talk."