Beijing, Nov 8 (IANS) US President Donald Trump arrived here on Wednesday on a state visit to China likely to focus heavily on bilateral trade and tensions with North Korea.
Air Force One landed around 2.35 p.m. at Beijing airport, where Trump and First Lady Melania were greeted by the Communist regime’s leaders, a People’s Liberation Army guard of honour and children with the flags of both countries.
Trump and his wife got off the plane about 20 minutes after it landed, walked down the red carpet rolled out for the occasion and rode in a Cadillac limousine, Efe news reported.
The third leg of the US President’s five-nation Asia tour comes after stops in Japan and South Korea. It is Trump’s first visit to the country since he assumed office in January.
He is the first head of state to visit China since the landmark 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Xinhua news agency reported.
Earlier in the day, in a speech to the South Korean Parliament, Trump urged Beijing to “implement UN sanctions, downgrade diplomacy and sever trade” with Pyongyang.
Trumps will join Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan for a tour of the Forbidden City, the historic palace that housed Chinese emperors and their families for almost 500 years.
A dinner has been organised inside the Forbidden City for Trump and the First Lady — an honour not granted to any US President since the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Trump is expected to dine with Xi inside the Jianfu Palace, although the exact location of the dinner wasn’t confirmed. Wherever he dines in the Forbidden City, Trump will be the first foreign leader to have an official dinner in the palace since the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949, CNN reported.
Trump and Xi will hold strategic communications on significant issues of common concern to build new consensus, enhance mutual understanding and friendship, and promote bilateral relations in all spheres, said China’s Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang.
The US President will also chair a business forum and there will be a signing of several bilateral agreements in the Great Hall of the People on Thursday.
This is the third meeting between Xi and Trump following their first meeting at Mar-a-Lago, Florida, in April and the second in Hamburg, Germany, in July on the sidelines of the G20 summit.
This year marks the 45th anniversary of former US President Richard Nixon’s “ice-breaking” visit to China, which began the normalisation of relations between the two countries.
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