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Trump and Xi in "constant touch" as tensions rise: govt
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) April 28, 2017


Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump have been in "constant touch", Beijing said Friday, referring to the budding friendship between the two heads of state who began their relationship at loggerheads.

Though Trump's election campaign was marked with acerbic denouncements of Beijing's "rape" of the US economy, the billionaire politician has lately dropped his anti-China bombast in the hopes of wooing the country into a harder stance against its ally Pyongyang.

Since their first face-to-face meeting in Florida earlier this month, the two presidents "have been in constant touch with each other, exchanging views on bilateral relations and issues of mutual interest," Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said Friday, adding:

"This is good for the two countries and also for the whole world."

Their newfound closeness comes as Trump has made North Korea his top foreign policy priority, with the US administration issuing weeks of warnings that it will no longer tolerate Pyongyang's missile launches and nuclear tests.

Beijing has repeatedly called for a return to talks on denuclearisation but has long opposed dramatic action against the North, fearing the regime's collapse would send a flood of refugees across its borders and leave the US military on its doorstep.

The US is expected to push for a tougher Chinese response on Friday at a UN Security Council meeting chaired by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and attended by Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi.

But when asked whether China would give, Geng said that "dialogue and consultation is the only viable way out" of the rising crisis.

"It's not China who has been escalating tensions, so the key to resolving this issue is not in our hands," he said.

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Pentagon probes Trump's former national security advisor Flynn
Washington (AFP) April 27, 2017
The Pentagon said Thursday it is investigating President Donald Trump's former national security advisor Michael Flynn over payments he received from Russian government-linked firms. The Department of Defense said it was probing whether the retired lieutenant general failed to obtain required prior approval before accepting money from foreign governments. Flynn was specifically warned wh ... read more

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