President Donald Trump is set to host a consequential meeting with a significant world leader in April, but it won’t be in the formal setting of the White House in Washington.
Instead, The Daily Caller reported that Trump is scheduled to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in early April for a “working session” at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, much like he did with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shortly after being sworn into office.
This will be the first in-person meeting between Trump and Xi since the inauguration, and the two leaders will have much to talk about since their phone call following the election.
The White House confirmed to CNN that the meeting was scheduled to be held at Mar-a-Lago, but cautioned that as of right now the plans were only tentative and subject to change.
It is expected that plans for the meeting will be finalized during an upcoming meeting between Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Chinese officials in Beijing later this week.
The summit between the two leaders at the Florida resort was first reported by Axios, which was quick to mention that no golf outings are part of the plan, at least not officially, as there is much to be discussed during the “working session” set to take place April 6 and 7, a Thursday and Friday. (Xi’s government does not look kindly on the sport either, according to The Washington Post.)
High on the list of topics to be discussed is Chinese cooperation in the future with regard to North Korean antics, followed closely by Chinese military expansion into the South China Sea. There will also likely be discussion of trade policy, currency manipulation and the theft of intellectual property, not to mention human rights issues.
The Chinese president will likely be seeking assurances of Trump’s continued support of the “One-China Policy” regarding Taiwan — which is viewed as a breakaway province by China — along with attempting to head off any punitive trade measures Trump may be considering on imports and exports between the two countries.
Trump’s meeting with Xi should ease concerns among other world leaders, as well as among his critics here at home, about whether Trump is in fact serious and entirely capable of engaging with the establishment powers on the world stage.
That said, the venue may not be sitting well with the Chinese, though they likely would never admit it, as they could very well view the meeting being held at the resort instead of the White House as being less honorable and placing them at a disadvantage when it comes to negotiations
As an aside, it is thought that holding the summit at the sunny and relaxing Florida resort instead of the formal and stuffy setting of the White House could be more conducive to a productive meeting, and should help ease growing tensions between the two rival nations.
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