Xi and Trump: An Announcement of an Expected China-US Summit

Chinese President Xi Jenping and U.S. President Donald Trump will meet in Palm Beach next week.

Xi will pay a state visit to Finland from Tuesday through Thursday and then meet with Trump at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Thursday and Friday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a daily news briefing.

The summit on April 6 and 7 will be the first meeting between the two men in what many argue is the most important bilateral relationship in the world, and it comes amid heightened tensions in Asia.

Trump and his wife Melania will also host Xi and China s first lady Peng Liyuan for dinner, it added.

USA administration officials say the need for China to do more on 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.

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 has frequently accused China of keeping its currency artificially low against the dollar to make Chinese exports cheaper, "stealing" American manufacturing jobs.

The dollar has strengthened against major global currencies over the past few sessions, with an index tracking the US currency against a basket of major rivals climbing for the fourth straight session to 100.59. Mr Trump has sharply criticised China on all of the issues.

"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.

China-US trade in goods amounted to $519.6 billion in 2016, an increase of 207 times compared with that of 1979 when the two countries set up diplomatic ties, according to Lu.

The White House has said that North Korea and the deployment of a THAAD missile defense battery in South Korea will be among the key topics for the upcoming summit.

China disagrees with the USA 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.

The US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Thursday said China can and must do more to force North Korea to halt its nuclear and missile programs.

The details were ironed out by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who visited Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing earlier this month.

The two countries are seeking common ground on efforts to curb North Korea's nuclear weapons program, which has been alarming USA allies in the region.

Beijing is also deeply suspicious of USA intentions towards self-ruled Taiwan, which China claims as its own.

Despite his defiant Twitter stance on the Taiwan call, Trump reaffirmed US support for the One China policy during a February 9 phone call with Xi that the White House described as "extremely cordial".

  • Leroy Wright