21:39 GMT +317 October 2019
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    In this Nov. 9, 2017, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump, right, chats with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing

    Xi Jinping Calls Trump His Friend, Says US Leader Does Not Want to Sever Ties With China

    © AP Photo / Andy Wong, File
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    St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2019 (41)
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    ST. PETERSBURG (Sputnik) - Chinese President Xi Jinping called US President Donald Trump his friend and expressed confidence that the US leader did not want to completely sever ties with China.

    "Although there is some trade debate between us and the United States, but China and the United States are now closely interconnected with each other. We have the largest trade... It’s hard to imagine a complete separation of the United States from China," Xi said at a plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

    "We are not interested in this, the US partners are not interested. President Trump is a friend of mine, and I am convinced he is not interested in that either," he said.

    Xi is in Russia on June 5-7 on a state visit.

    Xi's statement comes as Beijing and Washington are currently engaged in a trade war initiated by the US in 2018. The trade dispute has already led to billions of dollars-worth of goods from both countries being slapped by hefty tariffs.

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    St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2019 (41)
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    Xi Jinping, China, US
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