China’s leader gets trade pitch on Alaska stop Trump tweets: ‘Only time will tell’
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Chinese President Xi Jinping took in some of Alaska’s natural beauty Friday night, and the state’s governor hopes this will lead to an increased appetite in the world’s most populous nation for more natural resources from Alaska.
Xi requested time with Gov. Bill Walker as the Chinese delegation’s plane made a refueling stop in Alaska’s largest city following meetings with President Donald Trump in Florida. Xi, his wife and the Chinese delegation stepped off the Boeing 747 and were greeted by Walker, his wife and several dignitaries.
Later, Walker and Xi spoke briefly to reporters before a business meeting, in which Walker touted the state’s abundant natural resources of oil and fish as well as its mineral resources
President Donald Trump says his meetings with China’s President Xi Jinping went well, but as for any progress on trade “only time will tell.” Trump tweeted Saturday: “It was a great honor to have President Xi Jinping and Madame Peng Liyuan of China as our guests in the United States. Tremendous goodwill and friendship was formed, but only time will tell on trade.” industries.
Walker also advocated for a natural gas pipeline he has long backed; it would take natural gas from Alaska’s North Slope to the coast for shipment. Alaska could provide a generation’s worth of liquefied natural gas to China, he told Xi.
For Walker, even just a few hours of time with the president of China could pay dividends. China is the state’s top export market, buying nearly $1.2 billion worth of goods in 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The next top international market is Japan, at nearly $820 million, followed by South Korea, at $730 million.
Chris Hladick, commissioner of the state’s commerce department, called the visit by the Chinese delegation a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Alaska officials during refueling Friday.