World

Trump, Xi meet for first time

FLORIDA: US President Donald Trump predicted a "great" relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping as the pair met for the first time at his Florida resort of Mar-a-Lago on Thursday (US time), when cordiality replaced tough anti-China rhetoric.

Mr Trump, in his signature red tie, warmly welcomed Mr Xi, who was decked out in a contrasting blue, to what the US leader likes to call the "Winter White House" for a superpower summit in the sun.

Inside the resort, Mr Trump waxed lyrical that it was a "great honour" to host Mr Xi.

"But I can see that, I think long-term, we are going to have a very, very great relationship, and I look very much forward to it," Mr Trump said.

It was the first time the two leaders met, after a US election that featured barbs at China's "rape" of the US economy.

The open agenda and personal setting for the 24-hour summit were designed to allow the leaders to freewheel and build a rapport, in what is the world's most important relationship.

The presidents were joined by US First Lady and former model Melania Trump and Mr Xi's wife, Madam Peng Liyuan - a celebrated folk singer Mr Trump hailed as a "great, great celebrity".

Mr Xi has plans to reciprocate the US' hospitality, according to Beijing's official news agency.

Xinhua reported yesterday that Mr Xi has invited Mr Trump to a state visit in China later this year, an offer it said Mr Trump accepted "with pleasure".- AFP

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