- Trump meets China’s President Xi in-person first time;
- US Secretary of State, Tillerson plans summit with Beijing’s officials;
- North Korea, US-China trade relations potential agenda;
US President Donald Trump is working on hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping for a summit in April at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, a senior personnel in the administration hinted on Monday.
Secretary to the US Rex Tillerson is expected to conclude the schedules for the summit with Chinese officials as he arrives in Beijing this week, the official noted.
The summit became necessary as Trump and Xi would meet first time amidst tensions in the region due to North Korea’s defiant nuclear tests.
North Korea is amongst Trump’s biggest security challenges since becoming President as he said in recent weeks and it’s his desire to call on China to intensify more serious actions to curb Pyongyang’s excesses due to China’s major leverage over the secluded regime.
China’s claims on the disputed islands in the South China Sea and construction of man-made islands are likely major discussions; since China’s major military presence on the region has caused rifts between it and others claiming ownership to the regions such as Japan and South Korea.
However, in the absence of security challenges, Trump and Xi will be paying attention more to trade and bilateral relations.
The US President has reinforced severally that the US-China trade relationship is an important part of his administrations priority during his campaigns repeatedly emphasizing the trade imbalance between the US and China.
However, Trump has not been so equivocal on US-China trade after becoming president, neither has he re-echoed bilateral trade relationship. And has not formally labelled China as a currency manipulator on his first day after taking office as promised.
Although it may seem these issues have sunk into oblivion due Trumps change in positions on a wide range of issues, President Trump has consistently blamed the US-China relationship on China claiming that is a major factor leading to dwindling US manufacturing and exporting activities years before he decided to context for the presidency.
Meanwhile, Tillerson’s official visit to Beijing this week where he meets with Chinese officials in Tokyo and Seoul – will establish the framework for Xi’s visit to the US to meet with Trump first time and to set issues to be discussed.
It will be recalled that Xi’s visit comes after Trump has established connection with another of Asia’s major leader, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whom Trump hosted at Mar-a-Lago in February.
That encounter was the second time Trump and Abe haven privately had contacts first at the Trump Tower during his transition to the White House.