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Tillerson to visit China ahead of Xi-Trump summit

Press Trust of India  |  Beijing 

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will visit this week, the Chinese foreign ministry said today as both countries prepared for the first summit between President Xi Jinping and his American counterpart Donald Trump next month.

Tillerson will visit from March 18 to 19 at the invitation of Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.

Both the officials will exchange views on bilateral ties as well as regional and international issues of common concern, she was quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua agency.

It will be Tillerson's first visit to after he took over the office.

The first meeting between Xi and Trump may take place next month in Florida, state-run 'Global Times' reported.

The meeting is expected to set the course for the world's most important diplomatic relationship for the next four years.

"Obviously, both countries agree that a summit between the two leaders needs to be arranged as soon as possible, and whether or not it happens next month, the summit will be a significant step for the Sino-US relationship in the next four years," said Ni Feng, deputy director of the Institute of American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

Trump's previous remarks on Taiwan, the South Sea and trade led to concern over the future of the Sino-US relationship, Ni said.

"So the release of information about the summit in April is absolutely good and even a surprise for observers who care about Sino-US relations," the Times report said.

This means the course of Sino-US relations over the next four years will be charted sooner than expected by the two leaders without too many difficulties or frictions, Ni added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 15 2017. 16:43 IST