Trump and Xi are expected to meet at the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires, discussing trade matters on the sidelines as a continuation of established high level talks between the two nations. POTUS is expected to arrive in the South American nation on November 29, according to the Japan Times.
Per US Vice President Mike Pence, however, the meeting is more than just about settling trade issues. It's about getting China to agree to US demands, should China want to "avoid an all-out war," the Indiana native told Washington Post reporter Josh Rogin aboard Air Force Two for an article published Tuesday.
"I think much of that will depend on Argentina," Pence told the reporter. "The president's attitude is, we want to make sure they know where we stand, what we are prepared to do, so they can come to Argentina with concrete proposals that address not just the trade deficit that we face… We're convinced China knows where we stand."
Woodward told Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear on Wednesday that Pence's latest remarks hinting at a cold war between Beijing and Washington are a continuation of a stream of rhetoric previously voiced by the vice president.
"This is a follow up to Pence's speech at the Hudson Institute, which was widely seen as a announcing a full frontal cold war stance with China, and that follows itself from the publication of the National Defense Strategy at the beginning of this year, which obviously changes the priorities of US foreign security policy," Woodward told hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou.
"So, this is not something that's popped out of the blue. It's been building over this year and obviously includes the trade war, which kicked up back in May."
Aside from trade matters, Pence also told Rogin that Washington is expecting Beijing to make concessions on "rampant intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer, restricted access to Chinese markets, respect for international rules and norms, efforts to limit freedom of navigation in international waters and Chinese Communist Party interference in the politics of Western countries."
The concessions listed by Pence, Woodward says, are a "complete fake."
"It's not a negotiating basis at all. On that basis there will be no agreement in Argentina — I'm not holding my breath, and I'm not expecting there to be anything," she said. "I think you're in a situation where the full frontal offensive against China has won out as the policy of the administration for the time being."
At the end of the day, the only way the US is likely to hit the breaks on its stance toward China is if "the voices of the US big businesses become rowdy enough on the problems that the tariffs are causing," according to Woodward.