Trump amid trade tensions: 'President Xi and I will always be friends, no matter what happens'

President Trump has spoken highly of his friendship with Chinese President Xi Jinping despite escalating tariff threats and a possible trade war.

“President Xi and I will always be friends, no matter what happens with our dispute on trade. China will take down its Trade Barriers because it is the right thing to do. Taxes will become Reciprocal & a deal will be made on Intellectual Property. Great future for both countries!” Trump tweeted Sunday morning.

However, the day before, he had a more strongly worded warning for China, tweeting, “The United States hasn’t had a Trade Surplus with China in 40 years. They must end unfair trade, take down barriers and charge only Reciprocal Tariffs. The U.S. is losing $500 Billion a year, and has been losing Billions of Dollars for decades. Cannot continue!”

Trump’s comments followed his threat of adding tariffs on another $100 billion of Chinese goods—a move which caused a significant drop in the stock market on Friday.

There have been looming fears of a trade war since the Trump administration first announced tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. China responded by announcing new tariffs on some US goods.

Despite the conflict, the countries’ two leaders are said to have developed a rapport, with Trump saying of Xi in October, “I happen to think he’s a very good person…we have a very good relationship, and that’s a positive thing.”