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Trump presses China on NKorea; another bluff could hurt him

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It's a jungle out there

The North conducted two nuclear tests and 24 ballistic missile tests a year ago, defying six Security Council sanctions resolutions banning any testing.

"The idea of capitalists and particularly Chinese officials going around and playing this sport - it doesn't look good", says Austin Ramzy, who has reported about golf in China for The New York Times.

Since then, President Obama announced an "Asia pivot" a post-Iraq and Afghanistan wars policy sending more money, military assets, and other aid to US allies surrounding China.

Xi is arriving at the resort with a gift-basket of "tweetable deliverables", sources say, peace offerings on Trump's signature issues - trade and jobs - that he hopes will smooth over a relationship that began on shaky ground following disagreements over Taiwan.

President Trump was non-committal on whether the USA would take action over the attack, telling reporters if he were to do something, "I'm certainly not going to tell you".

The current scope of China-U.S. relations is much like a lot of relationships: It's complicated. Mr. Xi for his part has stepped up as an unlikely champion of free markets and open global trade as the new USA government pursues its "America First" agenda.

Mr. Xi will arrive with a polished list of Chinese demands; Mr. Trump, who has yet to staff most of the senior Asia positions in his administration or conduct a review of China policy, appears to be improvising.

"President Trump used "going alone" comments on North Korea to put pressure on China to do more to tackle the rising threat from Pyongyang".

Xi has bones to pick with Trump, too. In June, Beijing severed government-to-government contacts between the sides in response to Tsai's refusal to endorse the principle that the island and mainland China were part of a single nation and would eventually reunify.

His strategy makes little sense, considering his aforementioned diplomatic gaffe of violating the One China policy before quickly retreating. The danger is that he, like Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during his recent visit to Beijing, could be drawn into China's conception of a "new form of great power relations" before he has had the chance to formulate one of his own.

The White House has said the topic will "continue to be brought up in the relationship", but human rights activists are anxious the Trump administration has already missed several opportunities to spotlight Beijing's abuses.

Trump will meet with Xi on Thursday and Friday (local time) at the USA leader's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida in their first summit.

"I would be very surprised if a year from now the Obama criteria were still in place", Scissors said.

The United States will continue to build its military defenses against North Korea, Donald Trump told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday, pledging all options are on the table.

July 18, 2016: North Korea fires three ballistic missiles off its east coast with a 500 km-600 km range. A bilateral agreement ensued and has had some impact, though the problem persists. Wilder said past USA administrations preferred to be toughest with Beijing behind closed doors - something he said Bush did effectively. Its companies have been on a spending spree, buying up competitors in Europe and the U.S. Some of those deals would be impossible the other way round.

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