The White House on Wednesday called out the Chinese government for hindering nuclear disarmament talks with North Korea while also expressing confidence President Donald Trump’s personal relationships will overcome challenges with both Asian countries.
In an official statement posted as a series of tweets on Trump’s personal Twitter account, the White House accused Beijing of providing North Korea with “considerable aid, including money, fuel fertilizer and various other commodities.” As talks with North Korean officials have turned contentious, Trump and top aides increasingly have pointed a finger of blame at Beijing — the North’s lone remaining close ally.
“This is not helpful!” the White House said. Notably, that and other verbiage in the Twitter statement mirrored language used by Trump in his social media posts and public remarks.
On Friday, the president announced — also via tweets — that he had directed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to postpone a planned trip to North Korea for a new round of face-to-face talks due to a lack of progress.
The White House also appeared to respond to Pentagon officials signaling Tuesday that joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises could return next year, saying due to Trump’s allegedly “warm” relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the cost of the “war games” there is no need to hold them this year.
On China, the statement features one glaring contradiction.
It both states a White House conclusion that the Chinese government has been pressuring Pyongyang on its nuclear program “because of our major trade disputes with the Chinese Government” and that Beijing is continuing to provide aid at a level that is preventing the disarmament talks from moving forward.
But as with the North, Trump also is betting his relationship with another leader, Chinese President Xi Jinping, will thaw a trade dispute with the Asian power.
The trade conflict “will be resolved in time by President Trump and China’s great President Xi Jinping,” the White House said. “Their relationship and bond remain very strong.”