China Hopes For Positive Outcome of Trump-Xi Meeting - Vice FM

Earlier, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that Trump looks forward to meeting President Xi and exchanging views on each other's respective priorities and to chart a way forward for bilateral ties.

Trump is expected to sign two executive orders Friday to identify the root causes of the huge USA trade deficit, look into countries that are engaging in questionable trade practices, and strengthen America's ability to punish countries that give their industries and businesses an unfair competitive advantage in worldwide markets through unacceptable subsidies.

Mr Trump put Mr Xi on notice on Thursday when he wrote in a series of Twitter posts that he plans to have "difficult" conversations with his Chinese counterpart about trade issues. He and First Lady Melania Trump will host Xi Jinping and Madame Peng Liyuan here on April 6 and 7.

In addition to trade, the summit is expected to cover other thorny issues including the South China Sea disputes and North Korea's nuclear programme.

China's Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang was conciliatory in his response, saying "China will continue to work with the United States to think creatively and keep pushing for greater balance in China-U.S. trade". Wang called the talks "candid, pragmatic, and productive".

In a tweet, Trump said the highly anticipated meeting between the leaders of the world's two largest economies, which is also expected to cover differences over North Korea and China's strategic ambitions in the South China Sea, "will be a very hard one".

Despite Trump's fiery attacks on the campaign trail- accusing China of "raping" the U.S. economy and stealing millions of American jobs, among other things-his administration has taken a relatively hands-off approach in dealing with Beijing so far, CNN commented.

In a media interview last month, Trump said that China can solve the problem "very easily if they want to".

China does not deliberately seek a trade surplus.

While apprehensive about a trade war, the American business community in China has grown more vocal.

Lu referred to the fact that the bilateral commodity trade volume reached $519.6 billion a year ago, more than 200 times the figure in 1979, when the two countries forged diplomatic ties.

Trump also broke with decades of US protocol toward China when he took a phone call with Taiwan's president in December.

China disagrees with the US over the deployment of THAAD anti-ballistic missiles in South Korea, the Trump administration's approach to climate change and potential arms sales to Taiwan.

Zheng said relations between the two countries are based on "mutual benefit" and that Chinese investment in the USA has created jobs in the North American country.

In January, the United States ran a $31.4 billion deficit with China, after a $347 billion deficit in 2016, according to USA census data.

Beijing is also deeply suspicious of USA intentions toward Taiwan, after Trump, as United States president-elect, broke with decades of U.S. policy by taking a telephone call from President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and saying Washington did not have to stick to its "one China" policy.

Zheng expressed hope that the U.S. could relax its controls on high-tech exports, create a level-playing field and provide policy facilitation for Chinese companies investing in the United States, which could help address the trade deficit.

  • Carolyn Briggs