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Trump takes risk in pressing China on North Korea and trade at same time

BEIJING — In a diplomatic gamble, President Trump is seeking to enlist China as a peacemaker in the bristling nuclear-edged dispute with North Korea at the very moment he plans to ratchet up conflict with Beijing over trade issues that have animated his political rise. Trump spoke late Friday with his counterpart, President Xi Jinping of China, to press the Chinese to do more to rein in North Korea as it races toward development of long-range nuclear weapons that could reach the United States. Trump plans to return to Washington on Monday to sign a memo determining whether China should be investigated for intellectual property violations, accusing Beijing of failing to curb the theft of trade secrets and rampant online and physical piracy and counterfeiting. While past presidents have tried at least ostensibly to keep security and economic issues on separate tracks in their dealings with China, Trump has explicitly linked the two, suggesting he would back off from a trade war against Beijing if it does more to pressure North Korea. In their phone conversation Friday night, Xi stressed that it was “very important” for the two leaders to maintain contact to find “an appropriate solution to the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula,” according to a statement carried in the Chinese state-run media.

Article by By Jane Perlez and Peter Baker (c) Page One News - Read full story here.