World

Trump's tweet sets tone for tense first meeting with Chinese President

BEIJING: China called on the United States to play its part in resolving trade frictions between the two countries, and said Beijing is not devaluing its currency to boost exports as tensions simmered ahead of President Xi Jinping's first meeting with US President Donald Trump.

Mr Trump set the tone for what could be a tense meeting at his Mar-a-Lago retreat next week by tweeting on Thursday that the US could no longer tolerate massive trade deficits and job losses.

The leaders of the world's two largest economies are scheduled to meet next Thursday and Friday for the first time since Mr Trump assumed office.

Mr Trump's tweet said the highly-anticipated meeting, which is also expected to cover differences over North Korea and China's strategic ambitions in the South China Sea, "will be a very difficult one".

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang acknowledged there was a trade imbalance, but said this was mostly due to differences in their two economic structures and noted that China had a trade deficit in services.

"China does not deliberately seek a trade surplus. We also have no intention of carrying out competitive currency devaluation to stimulate exports. This is not our policy," Mr Zheng told a briefing about the Xi-Trump meeting.

The yuan fell 6.5 per cent last year in its biggest annual loss against the dollar since 1994, knocked by pressure from sluggish economic growth and a broadly strong US currency. 
- REUTERS

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