US President Donald Trump (L) and China's President Xi Jinping, in a file picture taken November 9, 2017 at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing
Washington (AFP) - President Donald Trump on Monday said he still expects to talk with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the upcoming G20 summit, warning he will impose new tariffs if there is no meeting.
“Yes it would,” Trump told CNBC television when asked if a failure by Xi to come to the summit later this month in Japan would lead to the huge new tariffs kicking in.
But Trump said the meeting was “scheduled” and “I think he will go.”
“I would be surprised if he didn’t go,” Trump added. “I think he’s going, I havent heard that he’s not. We’re expected to meet.”
A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, meanwhile, said last month that he had “no information at present” on Trump-Xi talks.
Trump has been trying to strongarm China into a major change on trade policies that the president argues have for decades put the United States at an unfair disadvantage.
The two biggest economies in the world seemed to be close to striking a bargain until talks stalled last month. Washington says that Beijing walked away at the last minute, while the Chinese side has signalled it is increasingly prepared for a long fight.
Trump has already imposed 25 percent duties on $200 billion of Chinese imports. China has responded with punitive tariffs on $60 billion in US goods.
Trump says he is ready to slap tariffs on a further $300 billion in Chinese imports if no breakthrough is achieved.
The G20 summit will take place in Osaka on June 28-29.