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Thursday, March 30, 2017, 21:45

Xi to visit Finland, meet Trump in US

By Xinhua

BEIJING - Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to Finland and travel to Florida, the United States for China-US presidents' meeting next week, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang announced on Thursday.

President Xi's visit to Finland will be his first trip to a European Union member state this year

Lu Kang, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson

"At the invitation of President Sauli Niinisto of the Republic of Finland and President Donald Trump of the United States of America, President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to Finland from April 4 to 6, and meet with President Trump at Mar-a-lago, Florida, the United States from April 6 to 7," Lu said at a daily press briefing.

Xi's visit to Finland will be his first trip to a European Union member state this year, and also Xi's first visit to northern Europe as president, Lu said.

"This shows the importance China attaches to a future-oriented new type of partnership with Finland, and support for the EU," the spokesperson added.

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Commenting on a question regarding China-US trade links, Lu said the two countries' trade and economies were highly complementary.

"China hopes to make joint efforts with the United States to expand trade cooperation, properly settle trade frictions through dialogues, and maintain healthy and stable growth of trade and economic ties."

China-US trade in goods amounted to $519.6 billion in 2016, an increase of 207 times compared with that of 1979 when the two countries set up diplomatic ties, according to Lu.

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Lu hailed the growth of China-US trade and economic ties since the forging of diplomatic ties 38 years ago, adding it had brought concrete benefits to the two countries' business sectors and consumers.

Currently, China is the fastest-growing export market of the United States besides north America, he said.

Considering the trade imbalances between both countries, Lu said 40 percent of China's trade surplus with the United States came from US companies in China.

According to statistics from the US-China Business Council, two-way trade and mutual investment in 2015 had created 2.6 million jobs for the United States. US-China trade ties could save $850 for each American family every year, he said.

China has also benefited a lot from its trade cooperation with the United States, Lu said, adding China's great achievements profited from its cooperation with countries around the world, including the United States.

The efficient way to benefit both peoples is to make a larger "cake" of shared interests, rather than a "more for you, less for me" distribution pattern, Lu said.

The meeting between Xi and Trump will be the first since Trump assumed office in January.

"Xi's visit is of great historical significance to the development of China-US ties, as the two heads of state will chart the direction of the relationship from the top level, sending a positive signal to the world," said Su Ge, head of the China Institute of International Studies.

"Cooperation is the only way forward, and the two countries' common interests far outweigh their differences," Su added.

Trump sent a letter to President Xi on Feb 8 ahead of China's Lantern Festival, saying that he looked forward to working with China to develop a constructive relationship.

Two days later, in the Xi-Trump phone conversation on Feb 10 , Trump said the US government adheres to the one-China policy.

"Despite Trump's earlier remarks challenging the one-China policy, he has now realized the importance of sticking to this policy, which is the cornerstone of China-US ties," Su said.

Top diplomats of the two countries, including Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, exchanged visits in late February and earlier in March, paving the way for the meeting between the two presidents.

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