The Trump Administration is losing patience with China's failure to stop North Korea's nuclear program, and two signals last week were new US sanctions on Chinese aiding the North and a $1.4 billion arms sale to Taiwan. Trump expressed optimism after his first meeting with China's President Xi Jinping that the two would work together effectively on the issue, but in recent days Trump has increasingly conceded the strategy has not produced fast results. However, after the Xi-Trump summit in April brought an improvement in relations with the fledgling U.S. administration, the latest events are a reminder that risks remain and that from time to time we can expect to see bilateral tensions rise.
In the latest sign of tension, a USA naval destroyer on Sunday sailed near disputed territory claimed by Beijing in the South China Sea, prompting a furious response from the Chinese government.
President Donald Trump will hold separate telephone conversations Sunday with the leaders of Japan and China. The White House said the two leaders shared a commitment to dealing with North Korea. On Monday, the North reiterated that its missiles "can hit any target in a speedy and accurate manner", according to Yonhap, a South Korean news agency.
In a press conference with newly-elected South Korean President on June 30, President Trump warned that years of "strategic patience" with North Korea had failed and it was now time for a "determined response".
In a show of force, South Korea and the United States also staged "deep strike" precision missile firing drills on Wednesday as a warning to the North. Thursday's drills were aimed at boosting readiness against possible maritime North Korean aggression. And it continued Wednesday, with Trump complaining about China's trade with North Korea.
In his campaign, candidate Donald Trump had identified North Korea's nuclear and missile programme as a serious issue and had sought to pressurise China to prevail over the North Korean leadership to stop their development.
Trump has been weighing new quotas or tariffs on steel imports for national security reasons and plans to discuss his concerns at the G20. Yet there are significant risks, too, including the possibility of opening a new rift with Beijing that could complicate US diplomatic efforts on other critical issues.
"They reaffirmed that the United States-Japan Alliance stands ready to defend and respond to any threat or action taken by North Korea", the White House said in a statement. Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!
The call on Sunday came at the end of a tense week in US-China relations, which analysts said signalled the end of honeymoon period between the two superpowers that began with a summit at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in April, CNN reported.
China's Defence Ministry yesterday slammed the United States for seriously damaging peace and stability in the South China Sea after an American warship sailed near an island in the Paracels claimed by China. The US government continues to uphold the one-China policy, and there has been no change in that position, he said.
Pentagon spokeswoman Dana W. White said the U.S.
Trump's call with Xi followed a separate chat with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, of Japan, a US trade rival that's also key ally against Kim's regime.