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Xi, Trump to meet at Florida resort on April 6

Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump will hold their much anticipated first meeting in Florida during April 6-7.

world Updated: Mar 31, 2017 00:30 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times, Beijing
US-China relations,President Xi Jinping,President Donald Trump
A combination of file photos showing Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and US President Donald Trump. (Reuters)

Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet his US counterpart Donald Trump at a resort in Florida during April 6-7 for the much anticipated first bilateral talks between the two leaders.

“At the invitation of President Sauli Niinisto of the Republic of Finland and President Donald Trump of the United States of America, President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to Finland from April 4 to 6, and he will meet with President Trump at Mar-a-lago, Florida, the US from April 6 to 7,” foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a daily news brefing on Thursday.

The first meeting between Xi and Trump, who last month had a phone conversation, will take place against the backdrop of increasing tension over issues such as trade, North Korea and the disputes that China has with several maritime neighbours in the South China Sea.

Soon after taking over, Trump triggered criticism from China by having a phone conversation with the President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan, which Beijing sees as a breakaway region. Trump had even questioned the efficacy of the “One-China” policy.

But a phone conversation with Xi somewhat calmed bilateral nerves. Next week’s meeting is expected to further clear up the status of ties.

“These bumps in the road have been mitigated due to comprehensive efforts by both sides through official, semi-official and non-official channels, and the Sino-US relationship has avoided conflict and crisis,” An Gang, from Pangoal Institution, a Beijing-based think tank, told state-run Global Times tabloid.

“For instance, due to concerns that Trump might launch a trade war, entrepreneurs like Alibaba chairman Jack Ma reached out (to the administration) via non-official channels,” An said. Ma met Trump in New York on January 9.

“It is widely expected that the upcoming meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump will redefine the Sino-US relationship. At present, there is a competitive relationship in certain industries, and how to deal with the industrial competition is a common problem faced by the two economies,” the tabloid reported.

First Published: Mar 30, 2017 18:24 IST