Damir Sagolj | Reuters
President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping meet business leaders at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, November 9, 2017.
U.S. President Donald Trump said China has been “a big help” in America’s dealings with North Korea, but added that he believed the hermit kingdom was “calling its own shots.”
Speaking at a press conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, Trump was asked whether China came up in his discussions with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
“China’s been a big help, bigger than most people know,” said the American president, before adding that he believed “North Korea is calling its own shots.”
Kim and Chinese President Xi Jinping met several times in the past year. When Trump and Kim met for the first time in Singapore last June, the North Korean leader arrived in an Air China plane.
To get to Hanoi this week, Kim traveled by train through China and some reports said he may have made a stop in Beijing. It isn’t clear whether he met Xi during his travels, nor if he plans on meeting the Chinese leader soon.
Trump said he believed China “can’t love having a nuclear state” right across its borders and that Beijing would want to see “the problem solved.”
On the U.S.’s trade relations with China, Trump said the American economy is thriving: The stock market has gone up, and domestic unemployment numbers have improved. The president also claimed that additional tariffs implemented on Chinese goods have helped to reduce the U.S. trade deficit.
Trump announced over the weekend that due to progress made in the U.S.-China trade talks, he’s delaying the implementation of additional tariffs on Chinese products initially planned for early-March.