China's Xi to meet Trump next week

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will hold their first face-to-face talks next week, a highly anticipated meeting between leaders at odds over trade, China's strategic ambitions and how to deal with North Korea's weapons programs.

Tillerson had planned to skip a meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation foreign ministers scheduled for April 5-6 so he could attend Xi's meeting with Trump, the official said. China is North Korea's most important source of diplomatic support and economic assistance.

President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to Finland before he heads to Florida in the United States for a China-U.S. presidents' meeting next week, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang announced Thursday. Next week's meeting is expected to further clear up the status of ties.

USA 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.

China's foreign ministry confirmed that President Xi Jinping will meet with his US counterpart Donald Trump in Florida next week, a critical first encounter as the two sides seek common ground on issues ranging from trade to North Korea.

Relations between China and the US under former President Barack Obama were strained by issues including China's island-building in waters surrounding global shipping lanes in the South China Sea, allegations of cyberhacking and a USA policy rebalance to Asia.

According to statistics from the U.S. -China relations said Tuesday, Kyodo agency reports.It will be their first meeting since Trump took office January 20. He will be the first Chinese head of state to visit the Nordic country since 1995.

The State Department official confirmed the timing of Xi's trip while discussing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's upcoming travel plans.

The two leaders had spoken by phone on Febraury 9 during which Trump had told Xi that he would honour the "One China" policy.

"Despite Trump's earlier remarks challenging the one-China policy, he has now realized the importance of sticking to this policy, which is the cornerstone of China-U.S. ties", Su said.

  • Leroy Wright