Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump will meet for the first time on April 6-7 at the latter’s Florida resort, China’s foreign ministry announced Thursday.
The future relationship between the world’s No. 1 and No. 2 economies has been uncertain following the election of Trump, who accused China during his campaign of unfair trade practices and threatened to raise import taxes on Chinese goods and declare Beijing a currency manipulator.
It is unclear whether Trump will follow through with either threat. He is now seeking Beijing’s help in pressuring North Korea over its nuclear weapons and missiles programs.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters that Xi would meet with Trump at Mar-a-Lago.
It is the same Florida resort where Trump hosted and played golf with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in February.
Before arriving in the U.S., Xi will pay a state visit to Finland from April 4-6, Lu said
Xi Jinping met with President Barack Obama for an informal summit at California’s Sunnylands estate
Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images
The summit will follow a string of other recent U.S.-China meetings and conversations aimed at mending ties after strong criticism of China by Trump during his election campaign.
U.S. 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.
China has been irritated at being repeatedly told by Washington to rein in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes and by the U.S. decision to base an advanced missile-defense system in South Korea.
Beijing is also deeply suspicious of U.S. intentions towards self-ruled Taiwan, which China claims as its own.
During his election campaign, Trump accused China of unfair trade policies, criticised its island-building in the strategic South China Sea, and accused it of doing too little to constrain North Korea.
Trump also incensed Beijing in December by taking a phone call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and later saying the United States did not have to stick to the so-called “one China” policy.
He later agreed in a phone call with Xi to honor the long-standing policy and has also written to Xi since seeking “constructive ties.”