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     BEIJING (MNI) - The main aim of U.S. President Donald Trump's Asia-Pacific
trip is to strengthen security ties with allies in the region at China's expense
in exchange for economic concessions, China's nationalistic Global Times
newspaper charged in an editorial published Monday. 
     In offering "economic boons" to countries including Japan and South Korea,
Trump is hoping the U.S. allies can eliminate the threat posed by North Korea,
the editorial said.
     "Even though U.S. allies are unhappy about Washington's calculations, they
have attached great importance to and are quite warm about Trump's visit as they
try to figure out his real intentions," the Global Times said. "The relationship
between Trump and Asian countries is at a delicate stage."
     The Global Times said Trump was also using the promise of better trade ties
with countries that are "threatened by China's rise," adding that Trump and the
United States had "hyped up" their stance that China poses a threat to its
neighbors. 
     However, at the core of Trump's Asia-Pacific policy lies its relationship
with China, the editorial said. Trump inherited former U.S. President Barack
Obama's vigilance toward China, maintaining the U.S. strategy of "rebalancing"
toward the Asia-Pacific region while at the same time containing China.
     That strategy, the Global Times predicted, is doomed. "Given the tremendous
amount of Beijing-Washington exchanges, the economic integrity between China and
peripheral countries, and Beijing's policy of peaceful development, the strategy
of rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific will reach a dead end sooner or later," it
said.
     Trump should instead focus more of U.S. resources on "domestic
construction" -- a tack that would require a "friendly and cooperative" Asia and
China, the editorial said. It is also on the basis of such cooperation that
progress in trade and on the North Korean nuclear crisis will be made, it added.
 
     Trump is currently in Japan on his five-nation Asia-Pacific tour. In Tokyo,
Trump is pushing a bilateral trade treaty that would help reduce the U.S. trade
deficit with Japan. He is expected to attempt to wrest trade concessions from
China when he arrives in Beijing on Wednesday for his "state visit-plus," which
will include a military honor guard, a formal banquet and other "special
arrangements," according to China's ambassador to the United States, Cui
Tiankai. 
--MNI Beijing Bureau; +86 (10) 8532-5998; email: vince.morkri@marketnews.com
--MNI BEIJING Bureau; +1 202-371-2121; email: john.carter@mni-news.com
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