Donald Trump Says He Must Meet With Xi Jinping Before Any Trade Deal is Done

On Thursday United States President Donald Trump claimed that trade talks with China are going well, but no agreement will be nailed down until he and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping meet in the coming weeks.

“No final deal will be made until my friend President Xi, and I, meet in the near future to discuss and agree on some of the long standing and more difficult points,” Donald Trump tweeted. No formal meeting between the two leaders has been announced.

Donald Trump aides met Wednesday with a China delegation to discuss a new trade agreement, and will talk again Thursday. Trump himself is scheduled to meet in the afternoon with the head of the delegation, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.

Last year, the U.S. and China hit each other with tariffs, spawning fears of a trade war that that could damage the global economy. Donald Trump and his advisers have accused the Chinese of unfair trade practices, from government subsidies to intellectual property theft, claims the Chinese have consistently denied.

Late last year, Donald Trump and Xi agreed to stop further tariffs and hold negotiations for a new overall trade agreement. They set a deadline of March 1, after which new tariffs would go into effect if no agreement is reached.

Expressing optimism in a brief tweet storm Thursday, Trump said the meetings “are going well with good intent and spirit on both sides. China does not want an increase in Tariffs and feels they will do much better if they make a deal. They are correct.”

While saying he expects to meet with Xi Jinping to nail down a final deal, Donald Trump also left an implied threat to the Chinese.