Trump to host China’s Xi at Florida resort next week

WASHINGTON, U.S. President Donald Trump will hold the first meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Florida resort next week, the White House announced Thursday.

"The two leaders will discuss global, regional, and bilateral issues of mutual concern," the White House said in a brief statement announcing Xi's visit to Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort on April 6-7.

Trump and first lady Melania Trump will host dinner for Xi and Chinese first lady Peng Liyuan on April 6, it said.

The meeting plans are already widely known since U.S. media have extensively reported them early this month.

Xi will be the second foreign leader to be invited to the Florida resort. Last month, Trump hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Palm Beach resort after a White House summit, and they played golf together.

The White House has said that North Korea and the deployment of a THAAD missile defense battery in South Korea will be among the key topics for the upcoming summit.

Trump has made it a key priority of his administration to get China to exercise more leverage as the main energy and food provider for North Korea to rein in the provocative regime. Trump has long said that North Korea is China's problem to fix.

In a media interview last month, Trump said that China can solve the problem "very easily if they want to." He welcomed Beijing's recent decision to suspend coal imports from North Korea, but said China should put more pressure on Pyongyang.

Trump had even raised questions about why the U.S. should adhere to the "One China" policy of diplomatically recognizing only Beijing, not Taiwan, when China is not helping the U.S. with the North Korea problem, though he later promised to respect the policy.

Trump and Xi could also clash over the THAAD deployment in South Korea.

China has railed against the deployment, claiming that the system, especially its powerful radar, could be used to spy on the country and undermine its nuclear deterrent, despite repeated assurances from Washington that the battery is designed only to defend against North Korean threats.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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