Sunny Florida May Brighten Donald Trump, President Xi's 'Difficult' Meeting

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Sunny Florida May Brighten Donald Trump, President Xi's 'Difficult' Meeting

The meeting between Donald Trump and President Xi will take place in Florida's Mar-a-Lago.


Chinese President Xi Jinping has left for Finland, from where he will go to the US for his first summit with US counterpart Donald Trump at the latter's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. The visit comes amid the tension over the launch of North Korea's ballistic missile today, over which non-proliferation experts have expressed concern.

The US President said a week ago the meeting with Mr Xi would be a difficult one. But US government officials said the choice of Florida is expected to set the stage for a more informal meet. Both first ladies will be present and President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will host President Xi and Madame Peng Liyuan at a dinner on the evening of April 6.

Madam Peng Liyuan is a popular figure back home and is known to charm international media. A former singer and fashion icon who left her career after marriage, she manages to steal the show on state visits and many think she is a strong weapon for ''soft diplomacy'' and could improve Xi's image overseas.  She is often seen in public unlike US First Lady Melania Trump, who has mostly stayed away from the White House since Mr Trump took over.

But US officials have hinted that Mr Trump is likely to do some tough talk on reining in North Korea's nuclear ambitions, contentious issues regarding the South China Sea, and America's trade imbalance with China.

Earlier, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson - who also laid the groundwork of the summit with President Xi -- issued a terse statement after announcing the rocket launch of North Korea. "The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment," he had said.

President Trump has warned that the US is prepared to act unilaterally to deal with North Korea's nuclear programme if China proves unwilling to help.

The US President has also tweeted about how he was likely to bring up the massive trade deficit issue. "The meeting next week with China will be a very difficult one in that we can no longer have massive trade deficits... and job losses. American companies must be prepared to look at other alternatives," he had tweeted.

Chinese news agency Xinhua has said ''Chinese and US officials agreed on Sunday (April 2) that the upcoming meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump matters greatly to the development of China- US relations''.

Xinhua has reported that in a telephonic conversation with Mr Tillerson, the Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi said the coming meeting is a top priority for bilateral ties, and bears great significance to the development of China-US relations in the new era, as well as to promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and the world as a whole.

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