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Another bump in ties with US

Another bump in ties with US

Beijing's ties with Washington have been strained by "some negative factors", Chinese president Xi Jinping told United States president Donald Trump in a telephonic conversation.

"Meanwhile, bilateral relations have also been affected by some negative factors, for which the China side has expressed its position to the U.S. side".

American and Chinese officials agree that the two country's presidents spoke Sunday over the phone.

According to the White House readout of the call, Trump brought up the threat from North Korea and the two leaders "reaffirmed their commitment to a denuclearized Korean Peninsula".

The White House statement was more reticent, saying only that the two leaders discussed a range of issues of mutual interest including North Korea and trade relations.

There are some 50,000-60,000 North Korean workers abroad, mostly in Russian Federation and China, South Korea's spy service has said, including at about 130 restaurants North Korea operates overseas. China has also been concerned that a reunited, democratic Korea - dominated by South Korea - would put a US ally, and possibly USA forces, on its border. And it continued Wednesday, with Trump complaining about China's trade with North Korea.

President Donald Trump took aim at China and trade relations in a pair of early morning tweets on Wednesday.

Then Monday, after North Korea successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile, Trump suggested maybe China's role in helping with North Korea wasn't over after all.

Trump has been weighing new quotas or tariffs on steel imports for national security reasons and plans to discuss his concerns at the G20. "Unlike the father, the son often times has engaged in fairly significant diplomatic insults of Beijing in a way we haven't seen before and in a way that surprised China".

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North Korea's launch this week of an intercontinental ballistic missile demonstrated a unsafe new reach for weapons it hopes to top with nuclear warheads one day.

Relations between China and the United States had warmed up after the two leaders met in February, with Trump even describing Xi as a "terrific person".

"China-U.S. ties have somewhat cooled a bit from their giddy heights after the Mar-a-Lago summit", said Jia Qingguo, dean of Peking University's diplomacy department and a foreign affairs adviser to the government.

"China is the one country North Korea does depend on to some extent and the elites depend on to access foreign currency, basic supplies that are important to the regime", the former president said.

The only option - short of war - is to lean heavily on China so that it forces North Korea to halt both its nuclear and missile programmes.

The president pondered whether the United States should continue what he deems "some of the worst Trade Deals in world history" and took a swipe at China and its relationship with North Korea.

Other U.S. decisions have recently drawn criticism from China.

In his conversation with Prime Minister Abe, the White House said Trump reiterated the USA was ready to defend Japan in the event of any North Korean aggression.

Mr Trump also spoke with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan about North Korea, and they highlighted "their unity with respect to increasing pressure on the regime to change its risky path", the administration said.

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