US President Donald Trump on Friday departed from Beijing for Vietnam, after an official three-day visit to China where he urged all countries to stop arming, financing and trading with the “murderous” North Korean regime. The presidential Air Force One aircraft took off from the Chinese capital at 9.15 a.m. (local time) for the coastal city of Da Nang, where Trump will participate in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum Economic Leaders’ Meeting, reports Efe news. Trump’s first trip to China as President hoped to bridge the gap between Beijing and Washington on key issues such as North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme, US complaints about their massive trade deficit, and to establish a path of increased cooperation in global affairs.
North Korea figured majorly on the agenda when Chinese President Xi Jinping and Trump held talks at the Great Hall of the People on Thursday. Trump indicated that he wanted China to pressure North Korea to give up its nuclear designs. While Xi promised cooperation and coordination, Trump said China had the solution to the problem. Trump was effusive in his praise of X, referring to him as a “very special man” and describing his visit to Beijing as “truly memorable”. The two countries also announced memorandums of understanding to increase trade by $253 billion, which the leaders said was a sign of greater cooperation. The deals include purchases of Boeing aircraft, Ford automobiles, US soybeans and joint development of liquified natural gas in Alaska.
Trump’s warm tone during the visit contrasted sharply to the rhetoric of his 2016 presidential campaign, in which he repeatedly attacked China, saying at one rally that “We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country, and that’s what they’re doing. It’s the greatest theft in the history of the world”. Trump was in China on the third leg of his five-nation Asia tour after stops in Japan and South Korea. After attending the APEC meeting in Vietnam, Trump will travel to the Philippines for an Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit.