What’s on the agenda for the Trump-Xi meeting?

Tomorrow, U.S. President Donald Trump will begin his first face-to-face meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The meet-and-greet, to be held at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, will be the first direct engagement between the two leaders since a phone call on February 9. On Tuesday evening, the White House held a briefing on what to except from the highly anticipated meeting. Senior administration officials, speaking on background, provided our clearest picture to date of what Trump and Xi will talk about in their time together. The first takeaway: this is a relationship-building meeting, not a forum for major breakthroughs. That’s not surprising, given the short nature of Xi’s visit. According to the briefing, Xi will arrive at Mar-a-Lago in the afternoon of April 6 and depart after lunch on April 7 – making for “about a 24-hour visit.” That won’t leave much time for substantial discussions. Plus, the meeting is purposefully “informal,” meant as more of a get-to-know-you interaction than a deep dive into policy details. As part of that, the senior official said, topics for discussion “have not been scripted out in advance.”

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