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Trumps' China trip planned

Published:2017-09-15

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 a press gaggle from the White House.

It would be the first state visit to China made by President Trump since he took office in January. He will be the second US president ever to pay a state visit to China within the first year of his presidency, following the November 2009 China visit by then president Barack Obama.

It was not immediately clear what would be on President Trump's agenda. On Tuesday, US State Secretary 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 his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping.

Both Tillerson and Chinese 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, a once-in-five-year meeting scheduled for Oct 18 that will steer the development of the world's second-largest economy in the coming years.

US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told a news briefing on Wednesday that "The president plans to travel to China this fall.

"I know the president and the first lady look forward to their trip to China," she added.

Nauert said that preparing for the president's China 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," the spokesperson said. "That is one of the subjects that came up yesterday when the state councilor was meeting with Secretary Tillerson."

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, Nauert said.

After the inaugural high-level 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 have yet to hold their high-level dialogues on social and cultural issues and the dialogue on law enforcement and cybersecurity.

"I believe we've had two of those four meetings, and we look forward to carrying out the rest just as soon as possible," Nauert said.

The four dialogues are part of the four-pronged high-level dialogue mechanisms set up by Xi and Trump during their meeting at Mar-a-Lago in Florida in April.

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