Trump plan­ning his first visit in Novem­ber

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHAO HUANXIN in Wash­ing­ton zhao­huanxin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

US President Don­ald Trump said on Thurs­day that he would visit China in Novem­ber and first lady Me­la­nia Trump is ex­pected to ac­com­pany him, ac­cord­ing to White House and State De­part­ment sources.

Speak­ing aboard Air Force One on Thurs­day, Trump said he will visit China, Ja­pan and South Korea in Novem­ber. “It will be a busy 10 days,” he said, re­fer­ring to his first Asia trip, which may also in­clude Viet­nam, ac­cord­ing to an in­for­mal brief­ing by the White House.

It would be Trump’s first state visit to China. He would be the sec­ond US president to make a state visit to China in the first year of his pres­i­dency — Trump took of­fice in Jan­uary — fol­low­ing the Novem­ber 2009 visit by then-president Barack Obama.

It was not im­me­di­ately clear what would be on Trump’s agenda. On Tues­day, US Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son said Trump is look­ing for­ward to his visit to China, dur­ing which he will map out the fu­ture de­vel­op­ment of China-US re­la­tions with President Xi Jin­ping.

Both Tiller­son and State Coun­cilor Yang Jiechi have said that the two coun­tries will work to­gether to make Trump’s visit a suc­cess.

An­a­lysts in Wash­ing­ton and Bei­jing have said trade and se­cu­rity is­sues, in­clud­ing the Korean Penin­sula sit­u­a­tion, will be high­lighted dur­ing the trip.

The visit will come just weeks af­ter the 19th Na­tional Con­gress of the Com­mu­nist Party of China, sched­uled for Oct 18, which will steer the coun­try’s di­rec­tion in com­ing years.

US State De­part­ment spokes­woman Heather Nauert told a news brief­ing on Wed­nes­day that pre­par­ing for the president’s visit was one of the sub­jects of a meet­ing be­tween Tiller­son and Yang Jiechi on Tues­day in Wash­ing­ton.

“The president has a strong and close re­la­tion­ship with the Chi­nese president. The first ladies have a ter­rific re­la­tion­ship,” Nauert said. The US is look­ing for­ward to car­ry­ing out the first rounds of all four high-level di­a­logues on a se­ries of is­sues with China as soon as pos­si­ble, she said.

Af­ter the in­au­gu­ral high­level di­a­logue on diplo­macy and se­cu­rity, which took place in Wash­ing­ton in June, and the high-level di­a­logue on the econ­omy in July, Bei­jing and Wash­ing­ton in­tend to hold high-level di­a­logues on so­cial and cul­tural is­sues and on law en­force­ment and cy­ber­se­cu­rity.

These were agreed on by Xi and Trump dur­ing their meet­ing at the Mar-a-Lago re­sort in Palm Beach, Florida, in April.

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