China and US: face-to-face – The world’s largest two economies meet to discuss trade, security and North Korea’s growing nuclear missile threat


Rex Tillerson, the US Secretary of State, who is on an Asia tour, will have the task of convincing China to “do more” to curb North Korea’s weapons programmes, a feat made more difficult by China’s displeasure at last week’s US anti-missile system deployment in South Korea and President Donald Trump’s repeated threats to “fix” the debt of trillions of dollars to the Chinese government.

On the military

Trump is seeking an additional $54 billion to spend on the US military in the coming year, roughly a 10 percent increase. China has said that it will increase its military spend by 7 percent, the second consecutive year in which its military spending will be under 10 percent.

China’s upgrading of its forces and projected expansion of its naval fleet have been a cause for concern in the region as Beijing continues to push it’s assertive stance in regional disputes. In the past year, there have been several incidents involving the US and China in the South China Sea. In one, a Chinese ship captured a US drone close to the Philippines, which was later returned.

On the economy

China’s Premier Li Keqiang has warned of a further slowdown in Chinese economic growth this year.

Addressing the annual National People’s Congress, he said the growth target would drop to 6.5 percent, compared with last year’s goal of between 6.5 and 7 percent.

Trump on the other hand has been promising to bring jobs back to America and increase taxation on imports from China.

However, there are approximately 2.6 million American jobs that rely on trade with China.


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