BEIJING – US President Donald Trump departed on Friday from Beijing for Danang, Vietnam, after an official three-day visit to China which helped to ease tensions over the North Korean crisis and trade.
The presidential Air Force One aircraft took off from the Chinese capital at 9:15 am local time (0115 GMT) for Vietnam, where Trump will participate in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum Economic Leaders’ Meeting.
Trump’s first trip to China as president hoped to bridge the gap between Beijing and Washington on key issues such as North Korea’s nuclear weapons program or US complaints about their massive trade deficit, and to establish a path of increased cooperation in global affairs.
Trump was effusive in his praise of his counterpart Xi Jinping, referring to him as a “very special man” and describing his visit to Beijing as “truly memorable.”
Trump’s warm tone during the two-day visit contrasted sharply to the rhetoric of his 2016 presidential campaign, in which he repeatedly attacked China, saying at one rally that “We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country, and that’s what they’re doing. It’s the greatest theft in the history of the world.”
Trump is currently on a tour of Asia, which has also seen him visit Japan and South Korea.
After attending the APEC meeting in Vietnam, Trump will travel to the Philippines for an ASEAN Summit.