Donald Trump will host Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar a Lago for their first meeting

Chloe Farand
The Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump has invited Chinese President Xi Jinping to his beach resort in Mar-a-Lago for their first meeting.

Mr Xi will meet the US President at his lavish Florida resort next week, China’s Foreign Ministry has announced.

The meeting between the world’s two biggest economic powers comes amidst tensions over territorial disputes in the South China Sea and after the US accused China of not being tough enough on North Korea's nuclear and missiles tests.

The relationship between the two countries has remained uncertain since Mr Trump’s election. During his campaign, the business tycoon accused China of unfair trade practices and of manipulating its currency. He also threatened to raise import taxes on Chinese goods.

But Mr Trump is now seeking China’s help in putting pressure on North Korea to end its nuclear testing programme, since Beijing remains the country’s key source of diplomatic and economic support.

During the meeting, Mr Trump and Mr Xi are expected to discuss global, regional and bilateral issues of mutual concerns.

A dinner is being organised on the Thursday evening, during which President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will host Mr Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan.

Earlier this year, Mr Trump hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Mar-a-Lago resort.

The US President’s regular trips to the so called “Winter White House” have sparked controversy over the cost of travel and security each time Mr Trump and his family visit the resort.

Mr Trump has spent at least seven weekends at Mar-a-Lago and it is estimated that it is costing US taxpayer $3million (£2.4m) per visit.

But the US President’s spokesman Sean Spicer said that Mr Trump “feel great” about spending his time at the Palm Beach resort.

The weekend gateways at Mar-a-lago have created a sharp contrast with Mr Trump’s comment on the campaign trail, when he said he would “rarely leave the White House because there’s so much work to be done”.

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