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Trump to make Nov 8 state visit to China

By Zhao Huanxin in Washington | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-10-17 11:09

US President Donald Trump is scheduled to embark on his first state visit to China on Nov 8, a trip that both Beijing and Washington expect to bear bountiful fruit and inject new energy into relations between the world's two largest economies.

Trump's itinerary was announced by the White House on Monday. He would be the second US president to make a state visit to China in the first year of his presidency. President Barack Obama visited in November 2009 in his first year in office.

"On November 8, President Trump will arrive in Beijing, China for a series of bilateral, commercial, and cultural events, including meetings with President Xi Jinping," the White House said in a statement.

It would be their third meeting in a year. The two presidents have met twice this year, in Mar-a-Lago in Florida in April, and in Hamburg, Germany during the G20 summit in July.

The trip will make Trump among the first foreign leaders to meet the new Chinese leadership after the ruling party has concluded its 19th national congress, a crucial twice-in-a-decade meeting, meaning that he would probably learn first-hand about China's growth path for the next five years and beyond.

In his latest phone conversation with Xi last month, Trump said that this year both the US and China have important domestic agendas, and he hopes that those agendas can be carried out smoothly.

Scott Kennedy, deputy director of the Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said first that Trump's visit to Beijing will try to establish a clear framework for the relationship that identifies the core principles that the relationship is based on, and the shared goals that the two countries have, whether it's dealing with bilateral or multilateral issues.

"The second is going to be trying to find a path for progress in dealing with economic issues," Kennedy told China Daily, because the Trump administration has wanted to make economic relations "much fairer".

The third is on security issues.

"I think there is going to need to be some sense of progress on how to deal with some of the hot spots in the Asia-Pacific region, most importantly on the Korean Peninsula, which is in the news every day and threatens to become a much wider problem," he said.

Trump's visit to China would be his third leg in Asia, preceded by his stay in Japan, South Korea and followed by visits in the Vietnam and the Philippines between Nov 5-14, according to the White House.

Preparations for Trump's visit have been going on since the two heads of state's first meeting in April. China's State Councilor Yang Jiechi, Foreign Minister Wang Yi and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have either met in Beijing, Bonn and Washington or held separate phone conversations several times, discussing Trump's China tour.

Leading up to the visit, Beijing and Washington have completed the first round of the four cabinet-level dialogues agreed to by the two presidents at their Mar-a-Lago meeting on fields including economy, diplomacy, security, social and cultural exchange, law enforcement and cybersecurity.

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