Navy Whistleblower Raised More Alleged Safety Violations at Aircraft Maintenance Facility Before Being Fired

An F-18 / Getty Images

Safety concerns in military riding high after KC-130 crashed, killing 16 last week

BY: Susan Crabtree
July 17, 2017 10:19 am

A whistleblower who uncovered life-threatening fuel risks to Navy pilots and others was raising new safety complaints before managers fired him in early June.

Glenn Schwarz, a civilian aeronautical-engineering technician, says his civilian managers placed him in a highly technical job calibrating equipment used for testing weapons systems and equipment that support aircraft—a position for which he did not have the training or knowledge to perform. He also has asserted that the on-the-job training managers provided did not comply with Navy regulations.

“Glenn is unqualified, and thus not authorized by Navy regulation to conduct calibration activities,” his lawyer said in an email to an attorney for the Navy’s Fleet Readiness Center-East in Cherry Point, N.C., Schwarz’s employer. “On-the-job training is not going to correct that deficiency.”

Cheri Cannon, his attorney, said Schwarz’s placement in a job for which he was unqualified reflects a larger problem with workers lacking credentials in violation of Navy regulations at the Metrology and Calibration (METCAL) laboratory and across the Fleet Readiness Center-East (FRC-E).

“Glenn is one of several employees at the METCAL lab who apparently lack either the proper education, training, or experience to properly do the job and this is an accident waiting to happen because of it,” she said.

The lax training and qualification standards is part of a broader history of flouting of Navy safety standards at FRC-E, some of which Schwarz has already played a role in exposing, she said.

The Office of Special Counsel, an internal federal government watchdog, is investigating Schwarz’s firing as an act of reprisal. Another quasi-judicial government agency for federal employees, the Merit Systems Protection, imposed a temporary 45-day halt to Schwarz’s firing while the OSC investigates.

A spokesman for the FRC-E declined to comment on the agency’s reasons for firing Schwarz, citing privacy laws designed to protect personnel. The U.S. Navy’s Air System Command public affairs office did not return calls seeking comment.

Safety concerns are running high across U.S. military communities in recent days after a Marine Corps KC-130 crashed in rural Mississippi a week ago, killing 16 people aboard and spreading debris for miles. The Marine Corps has officially said only that the aircraft “experienced a mishap” but provided no details on whether it was related to maintenance problems or pilot-error.

The KC-130 was coming from the Marine Corps Station in Cherry Point, the same location of the FRC-E maintenance and refueling facility at issue in Schwarz’s initial substantiated safety disclosures.

In addition, the Air Force temporarily grounded an F-35 fighter wing in Arizona last week after five incidents in which pilots suffered from oxygen-deprivation problems. Navy officials in recent months have described a rising rate of “physiological episodes” of those affecting pilots who fly all models of the F-18 aircraft, which is often described as the backbone of naval aviation.

Navy officials have categorized the episodes into two general groups: Those related to “pilot breathing gas” and those caused by “unscheduled pressure changes” in the cabin. A team of Navy investigators have assessed 382 cases so far, determining that 130 involved some form of oxygen contamination and 114 involved a failure of the jet’s system that maintains cabin pressure.

It remains a mystery whether the aging fleet or maintenance problems—or a combination of both—are leading to the sharp uptick in oxygen-related problems for pilots.

John Cochran, a professor emeritus of aerospace engineering at Auburn University, said any decision by managers to disregard required qualifications for highly technical jobs such as fixing support systems troubles him.

Cochran has served as consultant and expert witness in the analysis and reconstruction of accidents involving more than 30 airplane and helicopter crashes, many of them military aircraft.

“The regulations are written for a purpose, of course, and the purpose is to maintain a certain level of safety,” he said. “And if you have violations of those—any one little violation—the wrong type of violation at the wrong time—could cause an accident.”

C-130 military cargo aircraft had problems in the late 1970s and 1980s in cases he worked on with throttle-cables breaking, and those caused accidents, he said. The cables, and other sensitive systems on the aircraft, require accurate servicing and maintenance to avoid calamities.

“I don’t know all the regulations as far as what the Navy has on the books, but the smallest thing can sometimes cause a major problem—that’s the bottom line for aircraft,” he said. “We’ve had some of these aircraft for a long time, and they’re very reliable in most cases. But if you don’t follow the regulations, then you’re risking a lot.”

Schwarz was fired June 8 for what his lawyer describes as “trumped up” attendance-procedure charges and other false allegations she said would not have been leveled if he were not a whistleblower whose complaints caused friction and new safety standards at the FRC-E facility.

A Navy Inspector General report in 2015 substantiated many of Schwarz’s complaints about the improper testing of aircraft fueling equipment and the jet fuel itself, as well as the improper disposal of thousands of pounds of jet fuel.

The IG found that fuel hoses and the gauges on fuel trucks had not been tested in years, creating a possibility that contaminants could enter the fuel and pass by aircraft filtering systems, leading to potentially life-threatening engine performance issues and the deadly fire risks on the ground.

That Navy IG report was sent to then-President Obama and the Senate and House Armed Services Committees. The audit recommended more than a dozen steps to bring the FRC-E into compliance with Navy rules.

At the time of his initial fuel-safety complaints, Schwarz was responsible for administratively releasing aircraft for flight and ensuring all required maintenance and inspections were completed. After disagreements with his managers and legal action to try to mitigate what he says were threats of further reprisals, Schwarz agreed to accept a new aeronautical-engineering technician job in the hope of putting the issues behind him, his attorney said.

The settlement included a position description for a new job that Schwarz would accept that specified that his employers would continue to place him in an aeronautical engineering-technician job, according to his attorney. The new position’s description is classified as a “metrology-engineering technician.”

That job deals with the highly technical equipment calibration for which he is unqualified, according to Navy manuals his lawyer cited in a letter to the FRC-E’s attorney and Office of Special Counsel mediators.

According to Navy guidelines, known as “an instruction,” “all calibration processes utilize metrological measurement techniques. To ensure accurate and reliable technical expertise, it is necessary to employ high-caliber technicians and enhance their technical capability through additional training.”

The instruction goes on to say that civilian employees hired to perform calibration procedures and functions must have certain educational or training backgrounds, including a Bachelor of Science in engineering or physical science, completion of a METCAL apprentice training program of four years, an Associate of Science in physical science degree, vocational school or physical/mechanical background, or equivalent skills and four years of experience.

Specifically, the METCAL job description for his current role said applicants must have “extensive practical application experience in the field of metrology or calibration” including knowledge of all the “assigned platforms” relating to several aircraft and their “associated engines, test stands, peculiar/common support equipment and weapons systems, and operational plans to enable the incumbent to make technical decisions on problems and concerns.”

Additionally, the job requires an “ability to recognize anomalies and determine if they are due to equipment, experimental or other errors” and “takes [sic] action to make changes to equipment calibration procedures to resolve problems.”

“”Mr. Schwarz has none of these educational credentials, experiences or formal training,” Cannon said. “He is ill-equipped to meet the demands of the calibration lab, and using him is unauthorized.”

“He must be put through school in order to comply with the [Navy regulation],” she said. “Simply put, putting an untrained, unqualified person like Glenn in a position required by NAVAIR instructions to have certain training and education that he does not have, is a safety hazard which can easily be avoided.”

She also pointed out that placing Schwarz in the position exposes the FRC-E command “to some risk should something be missed or go awry with equipment Glenn is asked to work on.”

Source: Washington Free Beacon “Navy Whistleblower Raised More Alleged Safety Violations at Aircraft Maintenance Facility Before Being Fired”

Note: This is Washington Free Beacon’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.

China’s Official Media Advocates War if US Sends Warship to Taiwan

Reuters says in its report today titled “China upset about ‘negative’ Taiwan content in U.S. defense bill”, “China said on Monday it had lodged a stern complaint with the United States after the U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of a big annual defense bill that would expand exchanges with self-ruled Taiwan.”

The defense bill Reuters refers to in its report is the United States’ National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which also proposes expanding training and exercises with Taiwan including what Reuters fails to mention in its report: NDAA provides that US warships may berth in Taiwan ports.

Global Times, a newspaper under Chinese Communist Party’s official mouthpiece People’s Daily is more bellicose in its editorial on that. It regards such move of US warships as US support for Taiwan independence that China can never allow.

Therefore, Global Times says that China shall announce that the US shall not cross that bottom line. If a US warship stays at a Taiwan port, China shall conduct military attack at the military facilities in that port. If Taiwan dares to conduct counterattack, PLA shall attack the Taiwan military that conducts the counterattack. If the US warship participates in Taiwan’s counterattack, China shall sink the warship.

The editorial says that China is making great efforts for its peaceful rise but shall be brave to fight. Only in that way can China’s economic and military strength be powerful deterrence to “Taiwan independence” forces inside and outside Taiwan.

Is that editorial mere bluffing? Global times is often used by Chinese authorities to show its stance that they do not want to uphold openly. China first of all wants win-win cooperation with the US but is also clear of the conflicts between the two powers. The most serious conflict is US support for Taiwan. China and the US are able to maintain good ties as the US has made clear that it opposes Taiwan independence.

However, a US warship in a Taiwan port even a short visit indicates US support for Taiwan independence.

Chinese people remember well the humiliation they suffer in nearly a century in the past when China was bullied by foreign powers. One of the worst humiliations was its loss to Japan in its first war with Japan resulting in its ceding of Taiwan to Japan.

It recovered Taiwan due to the victory of World War II. Will Chinese people allow China to be humiliated in losing Taiwan again? If Chinese Communist Party dare not fight, they will overthrow it.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report and Global Time’s editorial. I give summary translation of Global Times editorial. Full text of the editorial in Chinese can be viewed at while that of Reuters report can be viewed at

U.S.-China trade talks sputtering at 100-day deadline

FILE PHOTO – U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shake hands prior to a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 8, 2017.Saul Loeb/ Pool/File Photo

Andrew Galbraith and Dominique Patton July 16, 2017 / 5:07 PM / 14 hours ago

SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) – Bilateral talks aimed at reducing the U.S. trade deficit with China have yielded some initial deals, but U.S. firms say much more needs to be done as a deadline for a 100-day action plan expires on Sunday.

The negotiations, which began in April, have reopened China’s market to U.S. beef after 14 years and prompted Chinese pledges to buy U.S. liquefied natural gas. American firms have also been given access to some parts of China’s financial services sector.

More details on the 100-day plan are expected to be announced in the coming week as senior U.S. and Chinese officials gather in Washington for annual bilateral economic talks, rebranded this year as the “U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue.”

“We hope to report further progress on the 100-day deliverables next week,” a U.S. Commerce Department spokesman said on Saturday. “That will be the basis for judging the extent of progress.”

The spokesman declined to discuss potential areas for new agreements since a May 11 announcement on beef, chicken, financial services and LNG.

Earlier in April, when Chinese President Xi Jinping met U.S. President Donald Trump for the first time at his Florida resort, Xi agreed to a 100-day plan for trade talks aimed at boosting U.S. exports and trimming the U.S. trade deficit with China.

The U.S. goods trade deficit with China reached $347 billion last year. The gap in the first five months of 2017 widened about 5.3 percent from a year earlier, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

“It is an excellent momentum builder, but much more needs to be done for U.S.-China commercial negotiations to be considered a success,” said Jacob Parker, vice president of China operations at the U.S.-China Business Council (USCBC) in Beijing.

There has been little sign of progress in soothing the biggest trade irritants, such as U.S. demands that China cut excess capacity in steel and aluminum production, lack of access for U.S. firms to China’s services market, and U.S. national security curbs on high-tech exports to China.

The Trump administration is considering broad tariffs or quotas on steel and aluminum on national security grounds, partly in response to what it views as a glut of Chinese production that is flooding international markets and driving down prices.

North Korea has cast a long shadow over the relationship, after Pyongyang tested what some experts have described as an intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4.

Trump has linked progress in trade to China’s ability to rein in North Korea, which counts on Beijing as its chief friend and ally.

“Trade between China and North Korea grew almost 40 percent in the first quarter. So much for China working with us – but we had to give it a try!” Trump said on Twitter after the North Korean missile test.

Trading Meat

American beef is now available in Chinese shops for the first time since a 2003 U.S. case of “mad cow” disease, giving U.S. ranchers access to a rapidly growing market worth around $2.6 billion last year.

More beef deals were signed during an overseas buying mission by the Chinese last week.

“There are hopes there will be even more concrete results,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing in Beijing on Friday. He did not elaborate.

Critics of the 100-day process said China had already agreed to lift its ban on U.S. beef last September, with officials just needing to finalize details on quarantine requirements.

China, meanwhile, has delivered its first batch of cooked chicken to U.S. ports after years of negotiating for access to the market.

But unlike the rush by Chinese consumers for a first taste of American beef, Chinese poultry processors have not had a flurry of orders for cooked chicken.

Demand should improve once China is allowed to ship Chinese grown, processed and cooked chicken to the United States, said Li Wei, export manager at Qingdao Nine Alliance Group, China’s top exporter of processed poultry.

Biotech Crops

Other sectors in China under U.S. pressure to open up have moved more slowly.

Beijing had only approved two of the eight biotech crops waiting for import approval, despite gathering experts to review the crops on two occasions in a six-week period.

U.S. industry officials had signalled they were expecting more approvals. U.S. executives say the review process still lacks transparency.

Financial services is another area where little progress has been made, U.S. officials say.

USCBC’s Parker said it is unclear how long it will take for foreign credit rating agencies to be approved, or whether U.S.-owned suppliers of electronic payment services will be able to secure licenses.

The bilateral talks have also not addressed restrictions on foreign investment in life insurance and securities trading, or “the many challenges foreign companies face in China’s cybersecurity enforcement environment,” Parker said.

In an annual report released Thursday, the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai said China remained a “difficult market”.

Additional reporting by David Lawder in WASHINGTON, Ben Blanchard in BEIJING and Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Ryan Woo and Bill Tarrant

Source: Reuters “U.S.-China trade talks sputtering at 100-day deadline”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

Trump says he is considering quotas, tariffs on Chinese steel dumping

U.S. President Donald Trump reacts as he attends a joint news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, July 13, 2017. Photo by Kevin Lamarque

Ayesha Rascoe July 14, 2017 / 3:18 AM / 3 hours ago

(Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said he is considering quotas and tariffs to deal with the “big problem” of steel dumping from China and others.

“They’re dumping steel and destroying our steel industry, they’ve been doing it for decades, and I’m stopping it. It’ll stop,” he told reporters on Air Force One during a flight from the United States to France.

“There are two ways: quotas and tariffs. Maybe I’ll do both,” he said.

Steel stocks rallied on the news, recovering some of the year-to-date declines in the sector.

The S&P 1500 steel sector index added as much as 3 percent shortly after Trump’s remarks. The index rallied nearly 40 percent in the weeks following the Nov. 8 election, but so far this year it was down 6.6 percent at Wednesday

On Thursday, the VanEck Vectors steel exchange-traded fund rose 0.6 percent after being down 1 percent before Trump’s remarks. AK Steel shares gained 7.9 percent, Nucor gained 2.6 percent and US Steel added 4.0 percent.

Trump’s action on steel is a part of a campaign pledge he made to help revive U.S. manufacturing. The administration’s decision on steel could be unveiled in the coming weeks.

Trump also said he would invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to the White House.

“I don’t think this is the right time, but the answer is yes, I would,” Trump said when asked if he would extend such an invitation to the Russian leader.

Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe; additional reporting by Rodrigo Campos; writing by Jeff Mason; Editing by Jonathan Oatis

Source: Reuters “Trump says he is considering quotas, tariffs on Chinese steel dumping”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

China envoy says North Korea trade growth picture ‘distorted’

Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the United States Cui Tiankai speaks during the “China and the U.S.: One Belt, One Road and 100-Day Plan,” a discussion hosting high-level delegation of Chinese leaders, in Manhattan, New York, U.S., June 14, 2017.

David Brunnstrom

(In this July 11 story, adds wording in paragraph 5 to show that Cui said Chinese imports from North Korea dropped in April and May.)

By David Brunnstrom

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China’s ambassador to the United States has said reports of trade growth between his country and North Korea, in spite of international efforts to press Pyongyang to give up its nuclear and missile programs, give “a distorted picture.”

Last week U.S. President Donald Trump denounced China’s trade with North Korea, saying it had grown almost 40 percent in the first quarter, and cast doubt on whether Beijing was helping to counter the threat from North Korea.

Data released in April showed China’s trade with North Korea grew 37.4 percent year on year in the first quarter, in spite of a ban on coal imports China announced in February.

“This is a distorted picture,” China’s ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai, said in a speech to a Washington think tank on Monday.

Cui said bilateral trade declined in 2015 and 2016, and Chinese imports from North Korea dropped by 41 percent in April and 32 percent in May as a result of the coal import ban.

At the same time, Cui stressed that U.N. Security Council sanctions on North Korea did not constitute an embargo. “Normal trade … is not banned by these sanctions,” he said.

The Chinese embassy released a copy of Cui’s speech, originally delivered in an off-the-record setting, on Tuesday.

Cui said China backed further U.N. action against North Korea for violations of U.N. resolutions such as nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

He did not though make clear whether China believed North Korea’s latest missile test last week, which the United States described as a first ICBM test, was of that type of missile.

Diplomats say the United States is aiming for a vote within weeks to strengthen U.N. sanctions on North Korea over the test, but Russia has objected to a Security Council condemnation of the launch as a U.S.-drafted statement labeled it an ICBM.

Cui said sanctions were necessary, but could not solve the North Korean problem alone. He repeated a call for Washington to back a Chinese “suspension for suspension” proposal under which North Korea would freeze weapons testing in return for suspension of U.S.-South Korean military exercises.

Washington says the exercises are needed to maintain defenses against North Korea and U.S. officials say Beijing could face U.S. economic and trade pressure unless it does more to rein in North Korea.

Washington is expected to press the issue when senior U.S. and Chinese officials meet on July 19 to discuss bilateral economic issues.

Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Editing by James Dalgleish

Source: Reuters “China envoy says North Korea trade growth picture ‘distorted’”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

China says ‘China responsibility theory’ on North Korea has to stop

The intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-14 is seen in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang July 5, 2017. KCNA/via REUTERS

China hit back on Tuesday in unusually strong terms at repeated calls from the United States to put more pressure on North Korea, urging a halt to what it called the “China responsibility theory”, and saying all parties needed to pull their weight.

U.S President Trump took a more conciliatory tone at a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday, but he has expressed some impatience that China, with its close economic and diplomatic ties to Pyongyang, is not doing enough to rein in North Korea.

That feeling has become particularly acute since Pyongyang launched an intercontinental ballistic missile that some experts believe could have the range to reach Alaska, and parts of the U.S. West Coast.

Asked about calls from the United States, Japan and others for China to put more pressure on North Korea, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said it was not China ratcheting up tension and the key to a resolution did not lie with Beijing.

“Recently, certain people, talking about the Korean peninsula nuclear issue, have been exaggerating and giving prominence to the so-called ‘China responsibility theory,'” Geng told a daily news briefing, without naming any parties.

“I think this either shows lack of a full, correct knowledge of the issue, or there are ulterior motives for it, trying to shift responsibility,” he added.

China has been making unremitting efforts and has played a constructive role, but all parties have to meet each other half way, Geng said.

“Asking others to do work, but doing nothing themselves is not OK,” he added. “Being stabbed in the back is really not OK.”

While China has been angered by North Korea’s repeated nuclear and missile tests, it also blames the United States and South Korea for worsening tension with their military exercises.

China has been upset with the U.S. deployment of an advanced anti-missile system in South Korea too, which it says threatens its own security and will do nothing to ease tensions.

Additionally, Beijing has complained about Washington putting unilateral sanctions on Chinese companies and individuals for their dealings with North Korea.

Geng questioned how China’s efforts could bear fruit if, while it tried to put out the flames, others added oil to the fire, and if, while it enforced U.N. resolutions, others harmed its interests.

Everyone needed to accept their responsibilities to get the North Korea issue back on the correct track of a peaceful resolution through talks, he added.

“The ‘China responsibility theory’ on the peninsula nuclear issue can stop,” Geng said.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Source: Reuters “China says ‘China responsibility theory’ on North Korea has to stop”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

Trump keeps it friendly with Xi at G20 on North Korea threat

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meet on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 8, 2017. REUTERS/Saul Loeb, Pool

By Jeff Mason | HAMBURG Sun Jul 9, 2017 | 9:07am EDT

U.S. President Donald Trump took a conciliatory tone on Saturday at a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping where the leaders agreed to keep working on two pressing issues: the nuclear threat posed by North Korea and bilateral trade irritants.

Trump campaigned in last year’s presidential election on cracking down on China for its trade practices, but he softened his rhetoric after taking office, saying he wanted to work with China on the nuclear issue.

When the two leaders first met in April at Trump’s Florida resort, they appeared to hit it off. Trump called Xi a “good man” as he urged him to use Beijing’s economic clout to force North Korea to curb its nuclear weapons program.

Lately, Trump has expressed some impatience on China’s role in North Korea – particularly after Pyongyang launched an intercontinental ballistic missile that some experts believe could have the range to reach Alaska, and parts of the U.S. West Coast.

His administration made new arms sales to Taiwan, imposed sanctions on two Chinese citizens and a shipping company and put China on a global human trafficking list. It also accused a Chinese bank of laundering money for Pyongyang.

The White House is also debating trade actions against Beijing, including tariffs on its steel exports and a few days before the G20 talks, Trump complained that trade between China and North Korea had grown.

But he showed none of that impatience on Saturday, when the leaders met at the invitation of Xi at the tail end of the G20 in Germany.

“It’s an honor to have you as a friend,” Trump told Xi, telling him he appreciated actions he had already taken on North Korea.

“As far as North Korea is concerned, we will have, eventually, success. It may take longer than I’d like. It may take longer than you’d like. But there will be success in the end one way or the other,” Trump said.

Speaking to reporters later on Air Force One, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump-Xi meeting lasted over an hour-and-a-half, and they had “substantive discussions” about how to deal with North Korea together.

“In regards to China, we had very direct discussions about North Korea. We had very direct discussions about military and security cooperation,” Mnuchin said.

“I think that President Trump made very clear to President Xi that he is focused on this issue, and wants to move forward and make progress. And I think President Xi gave a very interesting perspective from their standpoint,” he added.


For his part, Xi told Trump that stronger China-U.S. ties were conducive to stability and prosperity amid global conflicts, and had made “new progress” in some areas “despite some sensitive issues”, Xi said, according to state news agency Xinhua.

Xi stressed the importance of talks with North Korea, and said China’s navy will join next year’s U.S.-led Pacific Rim military exercises.

Xinhua said Xi stressed to Trump China’s position that it adheres to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and maintaining peace and stability there.

While China has been angered by North Korea’s repeated nuclear and missile tests, it also blames the United States and South Korea for worsening tension with their military exercises.

“China has many times talked about its principled position, namely that at the same time as the international community making necessary responses to North Korean acts that go against U.N. Security Council resolutions, they must step up efforts to promote talks and manage and control the situation,” Xinhua said, citing Xi.

Xi also reiterated China’s opposition to the U.S. deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea, Xinhua said. China says THAAD threatens its security, despite U.S. and South Korean assurances it is aimed only at defending against North Korea.

Both leaders agreed to maintain close communication and coordination on the Korean peninsula nuclear issue, Xinhua said.

In a statement released on Sunday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Xi and Trump had “enhanced mutual understanding” about the North Korea issue and “confirmed the broad direction of using peaceful means to resolve this issue”.

Trump also mentioned trade imbalances in his meeting with Xi, calling it a “very, very big issue” that he would address.

“I know that China in particular, which is a great trading partner, we will be able to do something that will be equitable and reciprocal,” Trump said.

Senior officials from both countries will meet in Washington on July 19 to discuss economic and trade issues.

(Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Beijing, Writing by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Robin Pomeroy, Alistair Bell and Himani Sarkar)

Source: Reuters “Trump keeps it friendly with Xi at G20 on North Korea threat”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.