US President Donald Trump arrived in Beijing on Wednesday to hold wide ranging talks with his Chinese President Xi Jinping. The two leaders will discuss a host of issues including ramping up pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear programme and smoothening trade between their economies.
Both countries are also expected to sign trade deals worth billions of dollars during Trump’s three-day visit.
China is reportedly going to give a “state visit-plus” welcome to Trump on his maiden trip. Officials in China are calling Trump’s visit a defining moment in China-US ties.
Trump’s visit comes just days after Chinese President Xi Jinping commenced his second term. President Xi was recently hailed as the most powerful leader in China after Mao Zedong.
China and the US are working to ensure President Trump’s state visit becomes a “historic success”, Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang told the media.
Both Presidents are scheduled to have strategic communication on significant issues of common concern to build a new consensus, enhance mutual understanding and friendship, and promote bilateral relations in all spheres, Zheng said.
“Apart from the red-carpet ceremony, formal talks and a banquet, President Xi and his US counterpart will have some informal get-togethers,” Zheng added.
Representatives from about 40 top companies are said to have accompanied Trump to China.
Some Chinese experts said the US President’s visit will be different from routine arrangements and there may be surprises.
Xi and Trump spent over seven hours together in April at the US president’s Mar-a-Lago estate in the US state of Florida where the two leaders worked out a 100-day plan to boost economic cooperation.
Trump is also putting pressure on Xi to press China’s close ally North Korea to give up the nuclear and missile programme which has become a major threat to US.
Also expected to figure in Trump-Xi discussion is the US’ new South Asia policy which is piling pressure on Pakistan, China’s all-weather ally, to dismantle terror safe havens. China is also apprehensive about the US trying to work out a quadrilateral with India, Japan and Australia.
(With inputs from agencies)