Unprecedented Public Confrontation On Display In Beijing Between Top US, China Diplomats

President Trump may have been too quick to praise North Korea following Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit with Kim Jong Un over the weekend. Because in what will be remembered as a brutal snub, Chinese President Xi Jinping refused to meet with Pompeo during his visit to Beijing on Monday, while China’s foreign minister said in no uncertain terms that the US shouldn’t expect China’s help with denuclearizing North Korea.

In what the New York Times and WSJ described as a “tempestuous”, “public confrontation” where “the customary veneer of diplomatic niceties during public remarks” was stripped away, Pompeo and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi traded barbs in public during a press conference as the two men blamed one another for the near-confrontation between US and Chinese naval ships in the South China Sea last month, while China criticized the US for perceived incursions on Chinese territorial sovereignty and the US’s willingness to sell arms to Taiwan (while providing support in other ways). Wang also blamed the US for “ceaselessly elevating” trade tensions in a way that “cast a shadow” over their relationship.

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