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In call with Trump, Xi says US interfering in Chinese internal affairs

In a phone call with US President Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping has accused the United States of interfering in its internal affairs.

Xi said that China is deeply concerned about “the negative words and deeds” of the United States on issues related to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet, China’s Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.

“These actions have interfered in China’s internal affairs, harmed China’s interests and undermined mutual trust and cooperation between the two sides,” Xinhua said, quoting Xi.

Trump, however, said on Friday he had a “very good talk” with President Xi and claimed progress on issues from trade to North Korea and Hong Kong.

Trump tweeted that China “already started large scale” increases in purchases of US farm goods.

“Had a very good talk with President Xi of China concerning our giant Trade Deal. China has already started large scale purchase of agricultural product & more. Formal signing being arranged. Also talked about North Korea, where we are working with China, & Hong Kong (progress!),” Trump tweeted.

The two leaders spoke a week after their envoys reached a “Phase 1” agreement which is expected to see China boost imports of US agricultural and other goods, while Washington easing massive tariffs on Chinese imports.

China Central Television said President Xi spoke to Trump following a request from the US president.

The Chinese news agency Xinhua reported that President Xi hoped Trump would implement “the important consensus” reached during their meetings and phone calls and “pay close attention to and attach importance to China’s concerns, and prevent the interference of bilateral relations and the important agenda.”

The US and China have been engaged in a trade conflict for 18 months and have imposed billions of dollars of tariffs on each other’s goods.

Since early 2018, the Trump administration has pursued a deliberate policy of attempting to hurt China’s economy in response to concerns about the shifting balance of economic power and unfair trade practices.

The US and China are also engaged in a number of other disputes, including US naval operations in the South China Sea, and the US relationship with Taiwan, and US Congress support for protesters in Hong Kong.