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Trump will delay tariff increases on China, meet with President Xi

US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping spoke by phone Thursday, Feb 9, 2017 evening, the first conversation between the two since Trump took office. In the call, the two leaders discussed "numerous topics," and Trump committed to honoring the "One China" policy at Xi's request, the White House said.

President Donald Trump announced on Sunday he will be delaying US tariffs on China and will be planning a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago to finalize the trade agreement.

“As a result of these … very productive talks, I will be delaying the U.S. increase in tariffs now scheduled for March 1. Assuming both sides make additional progress, we will be planning a Summit for President Xi and myself, at Mar-a-Lago, to conclude an agreement. A very good weekend for U.S. & China!” Trump posted in two tweets.

The President cited “substantial progress” on trade talks with China, pointing to “important structural issues including intellectual property protection, technology transfer, agriculture, services, currency, and many other issues.”

The President’s announcement comes as he prepares to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this week in Hanoi, Vietnam. Trump will be focused on getting a “demonstrable, verifiable” step toward denuclearization from Kim, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday.

Earlier on Sunday, Trump tweeted about the important role China is playing ahead of the talks with Kim and wrote, “President Xi of China has been very helpful in his support of my meeting with Kim Jong Un. The last thing China wants are large scale nuclear weapons right next door. Sanctions placed on the border by China and Russia have been very helpful. Great relationship with Chairman Kim!”

In the Oval Office on Friday, Trump expressed similar optimism about trade negotiations with China, predicting there was a “very good chance” that the US and China would reach a trade agreement. Trump also suggested that if substantial progress was made, he “would be inclined” to allow up to a month longer for negotiations.

By Liz Stark and Kate Sullivan, CNN

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