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Xi, Abe get phone calls from Trump as North Asia tensions rise
World | analysis | 12:31, 03 July 2017 | 7174
Image: Financial Times

AKIPRESS.COM - North Korea’s nuclear ambitions dominated phone calls between Donald Trump and the leaders of Japan and China, as the U.S. president’s tougher stance on Kim Jong Un and pressure on nations in North Asia over trade sparks renewed tensions, Bloomberg reported.

The separate chats with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping preceded Trump’s expected meetings with the leaders of Asia’s two biggest economies at the Group of 20 nations summit in Germany this week.

They came against the backdrop of a freshly strident tone from the Trump administration about China’s need to rein in Pyongyang, and on Japan and South Korea over trade imbalances with America.

"The recent actions show Trump is not happy with China and other Asian countries," said Song Guoyou, an international relations professor at Fudan University in Shanghai. "The businessman wants better deals. Now everyone just has to return to the negotiating table."

Trump and Abe agreed on the need for China to be firmer with North Korea, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters on Monday. Kyodo News said the chat was a prelude to a planned meeting in Germany between the leaders of the U.S., Japan and South Korea. In his call with Xi, Trump also repeated his desire for more balanced ties with America’s trading partners, according to a White House statement.

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