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All eyes in Florida on Xi-Trump meeting

By Zhao Huanxin in Palm Beach County, Florida | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-04-06 11:03

As US President Donald Trump makes his sixth visit to his estate in Palm Beach since taking office - this time to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping - officials of the county and the neighboring city of Boca Raton said they expect the meeting to be a success and beneficial to the peoples of the two countries.

"Mar-a-Lago is about 30 minutes from Boca Raton. We are so honored to be hosting President Xi from China this weekend here in our neighborhood," said Mayor Susan Haynie, adding that it would benefit both countries to have their leaders come together to discuss common goals that would increase peace and prosperity throughout the world.

"The fact that the two leaders are coming together right there says that both of them are poised to find common goals and objectives and to initiate a great relationship for both our countries," she told China Daily on Wednesday, the day before the Xi-Trump meeting.

Both Mayor Haynie and Glenn Jergensen, executive director of Palm Beach County's tourist development council, agreed that high-level meetings at Trump's oceanfront resort have "put Florida on the map".

Foreign leaders' visits and media exposure can help Palm Beach County attract more Asian visitors, who often don't go south of Orlando when visiting Florida, Jergensen told the Sun Sentinel on Tuesday.

Florida had about 312,000 visitors from China in 2016, which was a 7 percent increase from the previous year, according to the newspaper.

The meeting between Xi and Trump will be the first since Trump's inauguration on January 20. Analysts in both China and the US anticipate the meeting will send positive signals to the world and enhance cooperation between the two countries, whose common interests far outweigh their differences.

Boca Raton city council member Scott Singer said, "I think the summit will yield very successful outcomes, particularly in the area of trade."

The greater understanding and discussions at the meeting will bring about more opportunities for investment on both sides of the Pacific, he said.

Boca Raton is growing as an international place to do business, and hopefully the city can draw more investment, including from China, he added.

Michael Barnett, the Palm Beach County GOP chairman, said he believed President Trump, the author of the Art of the Deal, would come up with a deal with China that both the Chinese and American people could live with, and bring out a stronger relationship with China.

Barnett, also vice-chairman of the Florida Republican Party, said he believed the first Xi-Trump meeting would be a great success and a boost to win-win cooperation.

"I firmly believe that, we, as the two largest economies in the world, have to work together well," he said.


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