Trump and Xi will meet next week in Florida
The meeting at Mar-a-Lago, the private club of the US president, will be the first between both leaders
Under the sun and relaxed atmosphere of Florida, and away from the pressure of making relevant announcements from the White House formality. In that environment, US President Donald Trum p will host his Chinese counterpart , Xi Jinping , next week at Mar-a-Lago, the Republican’s private club in Palm Beach. It will be the first meeting between the two leaders since Trump assumed the presidency in January and will serve to measure the rapprochement between the two major world powers after a convulsive beginning of the bilateral relationship.
Trump will meet on April 6 and 7 in Mar-a-Lago with Xi to discuss “global, regional and bilateral issues of mutual concern,” the White House announced Thursday. The visit will include a dinner with the first ladies from both countries.
The US president aims to turn his elitist golf club in Florida, where he has spent several weekends, in a diplomatic setting from which to knit personal complicities. Trump already hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Mar-a-Lago in February, but in that case both traveled to Florida after holding an official meeting at the White House in Washington.
After criticizing China during the election campaign, shortly after winning the November election, Trump opened a diplomatic crisis with Beijing by speaking on the telephone with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and ensuring that he would condition his respect for the ” A single China “only if it received in return concessions from Beijing on matters of shared interest.
Trump blasted the pillar of US diplomatic strategy since the 1970s, which recognizes Beijing as the only Chinese interlocutor and legitimate government to the separatist ambitions of Taiwan Island. In early February, the Republican backed off: in a call with Xi, he vowed to uphold the “one China” policy , yielding to a condition that Beijing considers “non-negotiable.”
The US cession allowed Trump and Xi to hold their first telephone conversation and set the stage for an incipient thaw. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met in Washington in late February with Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi, the country’s top diplomat. And Tillerson was seen two weeks ago in Beijing with President Xi. In both meetings, the differences were ignored and the willingness to strengthen cooperation was exalted.
But the ability of understanding between both governments is a mystery. Two days before Tillerson’s visit to Beijing, Trump complained on Twitter that China “had done little to help” contain North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, which has its biggest ally in the Asian giant. The challenge of the Pyongyang regime will be one of the central issues of the Mar-a-Lago appointment.
It will also be necessary to see if Trump maintains before Xi his denunciations that Beijing manipulates its currency, it propitiates relocations of American companies to the Asian country and its reproaches by the construction of artificial islands in the strategic sea of the South of China whose sovereignty several countries claim. In September 2015, Xi promised in the White House to then-President Barack Obama that Beijing would not install military equipment on the Spratly Islands, but satellite images have questioned that commitment.