Sun, Sep 22, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Trump, backed by Morrison, talks tough about China

AFP, WASHINGTON

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, left, and US President Donald Trump toast as they speak in the Rose Garden outside the White House in Washington on Friday.

Photo: EPA-EFE

US President Donald Trump on Friday said that only a “complete” deal with China on trade would be acceptable and his tough approach won support from visiting Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

“I’m not looking for a partial deal. I’m looking for a complete deal,” Trump told reporters during a joint news conference with Morrison at the White House.

Trump denied that he was under pressure to resolve the massive trade dispute between the world’s two main economic powers, saying: “I don’t think I need it before the election” next year.

Morrison, enjoying an unusually lavish reception and state dinner, said he backed the US push to force China to reform on issues that include routine violation of foreign companies’ intellectual property.

“We need to make sure that we all compete on the same playing field,” he said, adding that China cannot have “special rules.”

Morrison’s supportive stance contrasted with worries he expressed in June about smaller economies suffering collateral damage in the US-China standoff and the global system coming “under real pressure.”

This was only the second state-level visit to the White House granted under Trump and the first for an Australian prime minister since John Howard visited in 2006.

In a shift from tradition, the dinner was served under the stars in the Rose Garden.

Pale yellow tablecloths and floral arrangements decorated the tables, bathed in a golden glow from the outdoor lighting.

Trump gave a toast praising the “free and proud spirit” shared by the two nations.

Earlier, Morrison and his wife were greeted with an honor guard, military band and 19 gun salute on the South Lawn.

“Australians and Americans understand each other like few other peoples,” Morrison said, adding that he and the Republican US president had also “established a very early understanding.”

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