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Xi, Trump to'map out'Sino-US ties

By zhang yunbi in Beijing | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-04-03 09:38

Their first meeting seen as greatly significant for stability, prosperity

President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump "will chart the course and map out plans" for bilateral ties at their first meeting next week, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Friday.

The two leaders, who have already talked twice on the phone, will meet for the first time at Mar-a-Lago in Florida on Thursday and Friday.

Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, will also attend a welcome banquet to be hosted by Trump and his wife, Melania, Vice-Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang told a media briefing.

During their meeting, the two leaders are expected to have an in-depth exchange of views on China-US ties and major international and regional issues of common concern, Zheng said.

The meeting is of great significance for the healthy and stable development of the ties as well as peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and the rest of the world, Zheng added.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer told a news briefing on Thursday that Trump "looks forward to meeting with President Xi and exchanging views on each other's respective priorities, and to chart a way forward on a bilateral relationship", Xinhua reported.

Spicer also said the meeting will be an opportunity for Trump "to develop a relationship in person with President Xi".

The two-way trade relations have attracted great media attention as Washington has complained about its trade deficit with China.

When asked about the trade issue, Zheng said bilateral trade "has brought tangible, huge benefits" for both sides.

The trade imbalance should be seen in a comprehensive and objective manner, since China has a surplus in commodity trade but a deficit in service trade with the US, Zheng said.

China "does not seek a trade surplus with the US", he added.

About 40 percent of China's trade surplus with the US stems from US businesses operating in China, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a daily news conference on Friday.

A proper settlement of the issue requires bilateral consultation, and China is looking at the potential between the two countries, Lu said.

Su Xiaohui, a researcher on international strategy studies at the China Institute of International Studies, said China and the US have shown a strong need for each other in recent years.

Before his US trip, Xi will make a state visit to Finland from Tuesday to Thursday, which will be Xi's first visit to northern Europe as president.

Wang Chao, vice-foreign minister, said Xi will hold talks with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and attend a ceremony for the signing of cooperative documents, a joint news conference and a welcome banquet.

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