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Trump, Xi to hold summit to address THAAD in April

Posted March. 15, 2017 07:08,   

Updated March. 15, 2017 07:16


U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will hold their first summit next month in the U.S., and discuss geopolitical situations on the Korean Peninsula including the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile system in South Korea. The summit is taking place when South Korea, the most important party to the discussions, is devoid of its central command for diplomacy due to President Park Geun-hye’s impeachment, and during the presidential election campaign when limited capacity in state administration will be focused on management of the upcoming election. The outcome of the first summit between the leaders of the G2 nations is expected to set the key direction of geopolitical situations of not only Northeast Asia but the world.

In his regular press briefing on Monday local time, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Washington is preparing for summit between the U.S. and China, and the objective of the talks is to address North Korean issues and to ease tension surrounding the deployment of the THAAD missile defense system in South Korea. It is the first time for the White House to announce that Washington and Beijing will officially hold discussions about THAAD deployment since the arrival of THAAD components in South Korea on March 6.

The leaders of the U.S. and China are expected to comprehensively discuss pending bilateral issues such as the U.S. trade deficit with China, whether to designate China as a currency manipulator, whether the U.S. will respect the "One China" policy as backbone of Washington-Beijing ties, and territorial dispute over the South China Sea, in addition to the North Korean nuclear issue. Spicer said after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (who is visiting China on March 18 and 19) discusses timelines and specific agendas for the summit with his Chinese counterpart, details about the summit will be announced.

Earlier, the U.S. media including CNN reported President Trump plans to invite President Xi to his private residence Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach in Florida on April 6 and 7 by citing a senior U.S. official. If Trump invites Xi to the resort, the Chinese leader will become the second foreign head of state to visit the place after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in February.

Seung-Heon Lee ddr@donga.com · Kyung-Im Woo woohaha@donga.com