US President Donald Trump is talking tougher to China's Xi Jinping over North Korea. Photo: Reuters

On Tuesday evening the White House released a readout of a background briefing by senior administration officials on Trump’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping this week.

North Korea is certainly a top priority. On trade, though, it seems they are prepared to take is slow.

Highlights of statements from officials:

North Korea

“North Korea clearly is a matter of urgent interest for the President and the administration as a whole.

“I can tell you that it is now urgent because we feel that the clock is very, very quickly running out (…) The clock has now run out, and all options are on the table for us.”


“I did not say that they would not be talking about tariffs.  We haven’t scripted out what they will be talking about.  I don’t anticipate there will be a resolution on those issues, but they’ll be both establishing a framework for discussing the matters, and I am sure that each side will raise particular issues.

“But I would not anticipate we’re going to be at the point of resolving those issues in this one-day set of meetings.”

One-China policy

“The President has reaffirmed our adherence to the one-China policy — that is our one-China policy that’s based on the three joint communiques with China, as well as the Taiwan Relations Act.  That is longstanding policy of the United States; that is a policy that the President has reaffirmed.  So I don’t anticipate some kind of surprising deviation from that.”

Bilateral dialogues

“I do think that there is going to be some movement toward a framework for dialogues that will be elevated from some of the previous or preexisting dialogues that have existed with prior administrations, and for those dialogues to be streamlined and for there to be clear deadlines for achieving results.”