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Posted on: Beijing Bulletin, Friday, March 31st, 2017
A meeting that all world powers will be watching closely, including allies of China and the U.S. is the one planned between the leaders of the two world powers.
After weeks of discussion, finally Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to hold a one-on-one meeting with his American counterpart, President Donald Trump in Florida.
A senior State Department official confirmed in a statement that the two leaders would be meeting next week.
Further, Lu Kang, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry also confirmed that Jinping will visit Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, after stopping in Finland.
While the meeting might prove to be a tough one for Trump, who has previously criticized China on many ocassions, for Jinping, it would be one of seeking reassurances.
Trump and Jinping are likely to meet at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort and no officials White House visit has been announced so far.
A report in Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post noted that an informal meeting of the two leaders – in Florida rather than at the White House – may be intended to reduce pressure for any concrete results, which could be difficult to achieve at the moment.
Many even drew comparisons, pointing at a similar setting during the Obama administration, when Jinping met President Obama at the Sunnylands estate in California in 2013, and the two leaders were photographed strolling along a lake in their shirtsleeves.
The report in The Post stated, “Truly impressed, the official mainland media then hailed the Sunnylands encounter as a new style of diplomacy known as ‘Manor Diplomacy’, praising Xi’s confidence and maturity regarding bilateral ties. It is interesting to note that while U.S. officials proposed Sunnylands in 2013, it was China that reportedly pushed for an invitation to Trump’s private resort. Xi would be the second foreign leader to visit the resort, following Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.»
It would not, however, be the first meeting that Jinping is holding with the new administration in the U.S.
Earlier this month, Jinping hosted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and America’s top diplomat is expected to be in attendance at the upcoming meeting too, the senior State Department official said.
During his visit to Beijing on March 19, Tillerson struck a conciliatory tone with Jinping.
According to a report in The Palm Beach Post, Xi will be in Palm Beach on April 6 and 7 and would not be staying at Mar-a-Lago.
The agenda, which is proving to be more interesting for both the countries and rest of the world, rather than logistics, is said to involve many of the topics that have led to confrontations between China and Trump over the last couple of months.
Trump’s threats to counter China’s trade policies, which he has called unfair is likely to be one of the most important topics the leaders might discuss.
The agenda is likely to also includ some of the more contentious issues in bilateral relations, including curbing North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, American concerns about Chinese military ambitions in the South China Sea, amongst others.
Earlier, the two leaders had a telephonic conversation on February 9, following a week of drama after Trump took a call from the Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, irking China.
Following the uproar, Trump had questioned the One China policy, which became the source of escalating tensions between the two nations.
After the conversation, Trump committed to honoring the «One China» policy.
The White House had then stated that Trump “agreed, at the request of President Xi,” to honor the «One China» policy