Xi to meet Trump in Florida next week

Xi to meet Trump in Florida next weekBEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping will hold his first summit with US counterpart Donald Trump in Florida next week during which the two leaders are expected to set the tone for bilateral ties amid tensions over various issues like trade and the South China Sea dispute.

“Xi will meet Trump at Mar-a-lago, Florida from April 6 to 7,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang announced at a daily press briefing here today.

“China-US share trade and economic linkages which are highly complementary,” Lu said.

“China hopes to make joint efforts with the United States to expand trade cooperation, properly settle trade frictions through dialogues and maintain healthy and stable growth of trade and economic ties,” he said.

A host of contentious issues in bilateral relations, including Trump’s claims about China’s unfair trade practices, curbing North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and American concerns about Chinese military ambitions in the South China Sea are expected to be discussed between the two leaders.

China-US trade in goods amounted to USD 519.6 billion in 2016. China has large share in the bilateral trade with its exports to the US amounting to over USD 400 billion.

This will be the first meeting between Xi and Trump since the US billionaire’s inauguration as president.

The meeting will follow a recent trip to China by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The two leaders had spoken by phone on February 9 during which Trump had told Xi that he would honor the ‘One China’ policy.

Ahead of the summit with Trump, Xi will visit Finland and hold talks with his counterpart Sauli Niinisto, Lu said. –PTI

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