Xi Jinping made a surprise appearance at an annual parliamentary session on Monday, launching a scathing attack on Donald Trump after North Korea made the historic announcement that it is planning to suspend missile and nuclear tests for at least a month. But he made no mention of Xi’s name and the two world leaders’ only face-to-face encounter, in November, took place just after the U.S. president threatened “fire and fury” in retaliation for Pyongyang’s recent nuke test. To add to the mystery, video captured by Chinese media showed Xi’s empty chair during the session.
While Chinese media gave an explanation of Xi’s absence, citing strategic policy matters, observers have questioned if the timing of the address and Xi’s non-emergence had anything to do with the summit earlier this month between Trump and Kim Jong Un.
On Friday, during a round-table discussion with students in New York, Trump admitted he had been unable to persuade Xi to cancel the meeting and support further sanctions on North Korea. He described the possibility of the meeting taking place as “a little bit depressing.”
Read the full story at The New York Times.
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