Korea threat increasing, Trump tells China's Xi

US-China Relations Deteriorate

China's president Xi Jinping warned United States president Donald Trump of "negative factors" harming relations between the two countries as tensions rose again over a list of thorny regional issues, especially what the USA leader sees as Beijing's failure to rein in North Korea.

In his call with Xi, "President Trump raised the growing threat posed by North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes", the White House said.

Trump, who berated Beijing over trade during the U.S. election campaign, also "reiterated his determination to seek more balanced trade relations with America's trading partners".

China hopes that the US will handle the Taiwan issue appropriately in accordance with the "One China" principle and the three China-US joint communiques, Xi said.

Observers warned that if Washington fails to do damage control, ties between the countries may fray, as an arms deal breaches U.S.pledges in past official statements and betrays the one-China policy.

"We've had similar dynamics under Bush, Clinton and Obama", former China adviser to President Barack Obama, Jeffrey A. Bader, said.

And on Sunday a US warship sailed near a disputed island in the South China Sea claimed by China, drawing a rebuke from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Many took these moves as evidence of the U.S. pursuing a harder line on the Asian superpower, likely caused by mounting frustration over a perceived lack of action by Beijing to contain North Korea.

A phone call between U.S. President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping covered a wide-range of topics straining U.S. Shore-based missiles make it risky for the U.S. Navy to enter the Taiwan Strait in a crisis.

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Cheng Xiaohe, an associate professor of worldwide relations at Renmin University in Beijing, said that given the recent actions by Mr Trump, it was "a little bit odd" that Mr Xi had agreed to the phone call.

While South Korea and Japan are still verifying whether North Korea has indeed joined the ICBM club, the missile's trajectory confirms Kim's progress in securing the technology needed to threaten the continental US - something Donald Trump vowed "won't happen". This shows that the U.S., which is getting fed up with China's lukewarm commitment to sanctions against North Korea, and China, which is calling for an unconditional resumption of dialogue with North Korea, are unable to find common ground.

Xi also stressed the grave threat a USA anti-missile system in South Korea poses to both Chinese and Russian interests.

"Does this guy have anything better to do with his life?" he tweeted, referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Cheng Xiaohe, an associate professor of global relations at Renmin University in Beijing, said that given the recent actions by Trump, it was "a little bit odd" that Xi had agreed to the phone call.

Before North Korea's announcement of an ICBM, South Korean analysts said it was likely that it was a retest of one of two intermediate-range missiles launched earlier this year.

What Made Trump Deviate From Cooperation With China?

Mr Trump met Mr Moon at the White House on Friday. But for that to happen, the President is going to have to recognize America's limits when it comes to dealing with China and North Korea, and stop creating so much tension in the region.

The move prompted China to deploy military vessels and fighter jets, foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in a statement late Sunday, calling the United States operation a "serious political and military provocation".

China deployed military vessels and fighter jets to the area.

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