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China hopes Xi-Trump meeting to direct ties in new era

Editor: Wang Lingxiao 丨Xinhua

03-31-2017 19:33 BJT

Full coverage: President Xi Visits Finland, Meets Trump in U.S.

BEIJING, March 31 (Xinhua) -- China hopes the upcoming meeting between President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump will set the direction for the development of bilateral ties, an official said Friday.

"It will be the first meeting between the heads of state of China and the United States since the new U.S. administration took office," Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang told a press briefing.

From April 6 to 7, Xi will meet with Trump at Mar-a-Lago, Florida, the United States.

"As the international situation continues undergoing profound and complicated changes, the meeting will be of great significance to charting China-U.S. relationship in a new era, advancing the development of bilateral ties in a healthy and stable way from a new starting point, and promoting peace, stability and prosperity in Asia and the Pacific and the world at large," Zheng said.

According to Zheng, Xi will hold talks with Trump, during which they will exchange in-depth views on China-U.S. ties and major international and regional affairs of common concern with a view to enhancing mutual understanding and expanding bilateral cooperation.

President Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan will attend a welcome banquet hosted by President Trump and his wife Melania, according to Zheng.

Zheng said the Chinese and U.S. presidents have reached important consensus through phone conversations and letters over the past months.

"They both believe that China and the United States can absolutely be very good partners," Zheng said, adding that the two countries should uphold the principle of no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.

Zheng said the Chinese side would work closely with the U.S. side on various preparations for the meeting to make it a success.

Speaking of the United States' trade deficit with China, Zheng explained that this was a result of the global distribution of industries and the division of labor, as well as the two countries' different economic structures.

"In China-U.S. trade, although we are running surplus in trading goods, we are on the deficit side when it comes to trading services," Zheng said.

From 2001 to 2016, U.S. exports of services to China increased 15-fold, with the U.S. service trade surplus rising 29-fold, according to statistics from China's Ministry of Commerce.

"China does not seek a trading surplus, and it is not our intention to stimulate export through competitive currency devaluation," he said.

Zheng expressed hope that the U.S. could relax its controls on high-tech exports, create a level-playing field and provide policy facilitation for Chinese companies investing in the United States, which could help address the trade deficit.

As the world's first and second largest economies, the two countries have great potential to expand trade and economic cooperation, and could properly manage trade friction in line with the principle of mutual benefits and seeking win-win outcome, he said.

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