Home GRASP GRASP/Korea At Mar-a-Lago, Trump to welcome China’s Xi for high-stakes inaugural summit

At Mar-a-Lago, Trump to welcome China’s Xi for high-stakes inaugural summit


The meeting at the president’s winter estate will be dominated by talks on North Korea, trade, officials said.
PALM BEACH, Fla. — Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to touch down here shortly before 1 p.m. Thursday, followed soon after by President Trump aboard Air Force One, for a high-stakes summit at Trump’s luxurious Mar-a-Lago estate.
The un­or­tho­dox location is intended to lessen the formality of the first meeting between the two leaders, White House aides said, and help establish a working relationship, if not rapport, between Trump and Xi after moments of tension during the U. S. election season. The presidents, and their wives, will spend about 24 hours together, including a dinner Thursday night and a working lunch on Friday, officials said.
But the lush trappings of the president’s personal property will not mask the seriousness and urgency of the long list of topics that will be discussed, including North Korea’s nuclear weapons threat, a lopsided trade imbalance in China’s favor, the political status of Taiwan and the security situation in the South China Sea.
Trump has offered conflicting signals about his state of mind heading into the summit. He told business leaders in Washington this week that he had a “lot of respect” for Xi, but last week on Twitter he predicted the meeting would be a “very difficult one” because of the U. S. trade deficit with China.
In an interview with the Financial Times last weekend, Trump said he would exhort Xi to put more pressure on Pyongyang to halt its nuclear and ballistic missile testing, which has violated U. N. resolutions, but said if Beijing failed to act the United States would consider unilateral responses.
An administration official told reporters during a briefing on Tuesday that the “clock is very, very quickly running out” and all options are on the table, though the White House has declined to be specific. Hours later, North Korea executed another ballistic missile test that prompted a curt response from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who said in a statement that the United States had spoken enough about North Korea and would have no further comments about their provocations.

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