US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, arrive for a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, Saturday, July 8, 2017. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)
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From U.S. anger over inaction on North Korea to a festering border dispute with India and the ailing Chinese Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, last week's G-20 summit was strewn with minefields for China's President Xi Jinping.In the end it was U.S. President Donald Trump's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, amid accusations Russia interfered in the U.S. election, and Trump's refusal to return to the Paris climate agreement that dominated the limelight. Xi, by contrast, avoided controversy in his bilateral meetings and reaffirmed China's commitment to the Paris deal and to an open global economy, in what the official China Daily called the "burnishing of [his] reputation". Potentially the biggest test was Xi's meeting with Trump, who in the run-up to Hamburg had voiced frustration over China's inability to rein in its troublesome former ally, North Korea.China's biggest concern had been U.S. policy toward self-ruled Taiwan, after the Trump administration approved a $1.42 billion arms package for Taiwan, claimed by China as its own.China may respond more assertively if, for example, more Chinese entities are sanctioned by the U.S. over North Korea or Trump raises barriers to Chinese goods as he has frequently threatened, a senior Beijing-based Western diplomat said.
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