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. China is the North’s most important source of diplomatic support and economic assistance.
In February, Trump reaffirmed Washington’s long-standing “One China” policy in a call with Xi, in an apparent move to ease concerns in China that he might use Taiwan as leverage in negotiations over trade, security and other sensitive issues. The policy in place since 1979 requires Washington to maintain only unofficial ties with Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters that Xi would meet with Trump at Mar-a-Lago, without providing any more details.
It is the same Florida resort where Trump hosted and played golf with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in February.
Before arriving in the US, Xi will pay a state visit to Finland from April 4-6, Lu said.
Relations between China and the US under President Barack Obama were strained by issues including China’s island-building in waters that straddle the international shipping lanes in the South China Sea, allegations of cyber hacking and a US policy rebalance to Asia.
One bright spot touted by both sides was their cooperation, as the world’s top emitters of greenhouse gases, on tackling climate change. Lu said Wednesday that China would stick to its climate commitments after Trump, who has called climate change a hoax, this week rescinded measures enacted by Obama to reduce coal and oil use.