Chinese President Xi Jinping urged cooperation with the United States on trade and investment on Thursday, inviting U.S. President Donald Trump to visit China in a cordial start to their first meeting likely to broach sensitive security and commercial issues. Trump has said he wants to raise concerns about China’s trade practices and press Xi to do more to rein in North Korea’s nuclear ambitions during his two-day visit to the Spanish-style Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, though no major deals on either issue are expected.
The two sides should promote the “healthy development of bilateral trade and investment” and advance talks on a bilateral investment agreement, Xi said, according to a statement on China’s Foreign Ministry website.
“We have a thousand reasons to get China-U.S. relations right, and not one reason to spoil the China-U.S. relationship,” Xi told Trump.Trump accepted Xi’s invitation to China later this year, state news agency Xinhua news agency cited officials as saying on Friday.
Trump, a New York real estate magnate before he ran for office, joked before dinner: “We’ve had a long discussion already, and so far I have gotten nothing, absolutely nothing. But we have developed a friendship – I can see that – and I think long term we are going to have a very, very great relationship and I look very much forward to it.”
The fanfare over the summit on Thursday was overshadowed by another pressing foreign policy issue: the U.S. response to a deadly poison gas attack in Syria. As Trump and Xi were wrapping up dinner, U.S. forces fired dozens of cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase from which it said the chemical weapons attack was launched this week, an escalation of the U.S. military role in Syria that swiftly drew sharp criticism from Russia. In Beijing, China’s Foreign Ministry urged all parties in Syria to find a political settlement.
Trump and Xi were expected to get into more detailed discussions about trade and foreign policy issues on Friday, concluding their summit with a working lunch.Trump promised during the 2016 presidential campaign to stop what he called the theft of American jobs by China and rebuild the country’s manufacturing base. Many blue-collar workers helped propel