- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 6, 2017

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are hoping that President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping can find some common on preventing North Korea from becoming a nuclear superpower when the two leaders come together Thursday for a U.S.-China summit.

Mr. Trump is hosting Mr. Xi at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida — a meeting that has captured significant attention in large part because of the stiff criticism Mr. Trump leveled at the Asian giant on the campaign trail, where he vowed to crack down on trade with China.

Sen. John Barrasso, Wyoming Republican, said the face-to-face meeting could help bolster the ties between the presidents and give them a chance to see if they can find agreement on North Korea.

China clearly has the leverage,” Mr. Barrasso said on CNN, pointing out that “90 percent of North Korean’s trade comes from China. So they have significant financial influence — that is China with North Korea.”

Sen. Robert Menendez, Florida Democrat, delivered a similar message, warning that North Korea is “not a conventional actor” that does not “understand the theory of mutual destruction.”

“That is why this has to be at the very top of president’s agenda with the Chinese president because ultimately China can do much more than it has been with North Korea because it basically sustains North Korea, in its various supplies of raw and other materials that it gives to North Korea,” Mr. Menendez said, also on CNN.

He said China should be concerned about having nuclear weapons at its border and said the United States could put additional pressure on Beijing to act by deploying more missile technology to South Korea.

“We need to change China’s calculus,” Mr. Menendez said. “Right now they feel their is no consequence for them not moving further in getting North Korea to end its nuclear ambitions — at least as it relates to nuclear weapons.”

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