We go to Beijing for an update on President Trump’s meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping as part of his five-nation trip to Asia. Trump used the talks to call on China to sever ties with North Korea, and address the US trade deficit with the country he once accused of “raping” the United States. Human rights activists have urged him to use his trip to discuss climate change and challenge China over its crackdown on dissidents and call for the release of political prisoners. We speak with Joanna Chiu, China correspondent for Agence France-Presse, and Rajan Menon, professor of political science at the Powell School at the City University of New York and senior research fellow in the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: We begin today’s show in Beijing, where President Trump is in talks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, following a lavish welcome on Wednesday that was billed as a “state visit-plus” and included the first state dinner for a US president inside the Forbidden City. The welcoming ceremony outside Beijing’s Great Hall of the People was broadcast live on state television — unprecedented treatment for a visiting leader. Trump used the talks to call on China to sever ties with North Korea.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The United States is committed to the complete and permanent denuclearization of North Korea. So important. China can fix this problem easily and quickly. And I am calling on China and your great president to hopefully work on it very hard. I know one thing about your president: If he works on it hard, it will happen. There’s no doubt about it. They know.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Before arriving in Beijing, Trump used an address to the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, to deliver a stern message to China, North Korea’s biggest trade partner. North Korean state media responded in a statement Wednesday, saying the United States should, quote, “oust the lunatic old man from power” and withdraw…