Trump planning his first visit in November
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.