September 21, 2017 / 6:23 AM / 3 months ago

China says 'good preparations' should be made for Trump's visit

BEIJING (Reuters) - “Good preparations” should be made by China and the United States to ensure that U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to China later this year is a success, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi told U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

Trump will likely visit China in November as part of a trip that will take him to an ASEAN summit in the Philippines and an APEC summit in Vietnam.

The two sides should make good preparations for the visit to ensure its success so that “concrete achievements can be obtained and conditions can be created for good prospects, giving fresh impetus to bilateral ties,” Wang said, according to the official Xinhua news agency on Thursday.

Close communications between Xi and Trump have meant a “smooth transition” and a “good start” in China’s relationship with the United States under the new administration, he said.

A “stable and healthy” relationship between the two countries is good for both countries and the international community, Wang told Pence on the sidelines of the annual general debate of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, Xinhua reported.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrives to attend a meeting of the parties to the Iran nuclear deal during the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

China’s relationship with the United States has been strained by the Trump administration’s criticism of China’s trade practices and by demands that Beijing do more to pressure North Korea to halt its nuclear weapons and missiles programs.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Trump met for the first time in person at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago estate in Florida in April. Trump has since played up his personal relationship with Xi, even when criticizing China over North Korea and trade.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a meeting of the Security Council to discuss peacekeeping operations during the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The two sides launched a 100-day economic plan at that meeting, including some industry-specific announcements such as the resumption of American beef sales in China.

There has since been limited progress on trade relations, especially after Trump began to launch trade investigations into Chinese practices via the World Trade Organization.

Trump’s administration has also repeatedly called on China to do more to rein in North Korea and has threatened new sanctions on Chinese banks and other firms doing business with Pyongyang.

China says it is already doing all it can to pressure North Korea and that those countries directly involved in the stand-off on the peninsula should take responsibility for resolving tensions.

Reporting by Christian Shepherd; Editing by Paul Tait

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