The man from Mar-a-Lago says yes to Xi Jinping

Donald Trump and Chinese President will meet in Florida on April 6 and 7 for their first face-to-face talks on ‘global, regional, and bilateral issues of mutual concern’

March 31, 2017 4:52 AM (UTC+8)
Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

China has confirmed the dates of President Xi Jinping’s trip to the US to meet his counterpart Donald Trump.

They will meet at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on April 6 and 7 for the first face-to-face talks between the two leaders, who have jarred over trade, China’s regional ambitions and how best to deal with North Korea and its weapons programs.

The White House confirmed that Trump would host Xi next Thursday and Friday at his Mar-a-Lago retreat in Florida to “discuss global, regional, and bilateral issues of mutual concern.”

Trump and his wife Melania will also host Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan at a dinner next Thursday, a White House statement said.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang announced the trip at a daily media briefing in Beijing, where he spoke about the need for both sides to foster mutual interests in trade relations.

“The market dictates that interests between our two countries are structured so that you will always have me and I will always have you,” Lu said.

“Both sides should work together to make the cake of mutual interest bigger and not simply seek fairer distribution,” he added.

US administration officials say North Korea, the large US trade imbalance with China and Beijing’s pursuit of expansive claims in the South China Sea will top the agenda.

The summit follows a string of recent bridge-building US-China meetings after Trump repeatedly criticized China’s trade polices during his election campaign.

Trump then took a call from Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen after taking office in December and Beijing, that regards Taiwan as a breakaway province, lodged a protest with Washington. The US leader seemingly backed down by later agreeing in a phone call with Xi to honor Beijing’s long-standing “one-China” policy and has since written to Xi seeking “constructive ties.”

China has also shown irritation at being told by Washington to place more control North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and by the US decision to house advanced missile systems in South Korea.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ended a trip to Asia this month in Beijing, agreeing to work together with China on North Korea and stressing Trump’s desire to enhance understanding.

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