Brussels: Amid the trade war looming between the United States and China, US President Donald Trump went down the memory lane and recalled his meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, during his maiden visit to China last year saying “he spent two magical days” with the Chinese leader.
At a press conference after attending the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) summit here, Trump said on Thursday, ” I spent two magical days with Xi Jinping. They were the most magical days I have ever lived.” Interestingly, the remarks came after Trump was quizzed on US’ trade situation with China.
Claiming victory in the defence spending row by the NATO countries, Trump said that the allies agreed to “substantially up their commitment” and hailed the “tremendous progress” on the spending.
“Tremendous progress has been made. Everyone’s agreed to substantially up their commitment. They’re going to up it at levels that they’ve never thought of before,” he was quoted by The Hill as saying.
Multiple reports indicated earlier that the US President threatened to withdraw from NATO if its allies did not commit to a spending hike in defence. Trump, who did not deny the reports, however, said that he was “very firm” with the NATO countries.
“I told people I’d be very unhappy if they didn’t up their commitments very substantially. I think I can probably can [pull out of NATO], but that’s unnecessary, and the people have stepped up today like they’ve never stepped up before. I believe in NATO,” Trump implied.
In 2014, NATO members had agreed to spend two percent of their gross domestic product (GDP) on defence by 2024, CNN reported.
Trump has repeatedly rallied against its NATO allies for not meeting the two percent target and said that he pressed the countries to reach the goal “immediately”.
He added that an additional USD 33 billion would be spent on defence in “a relatively short number of years.” In contrast, French President Emmanuel Macron denied that the NATO allies agreed to increase their spending on defence beyond previous targets.
Earlier on Wednesday, Trump took an aim at fellow NATO ally Germany, calling it a “captive” of Russia because of its energy dealings.
“Germany is “totally controlled by Russia” because of its dependence on Russian natural gas,” he said.
Trump is now headed to London for a two-day working visit, with anti-Trump protests planned across the city during his visit. The US President is set to visit his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for a summit in Helsinki on July 16. (ANI)