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Trump plans to host China’s Xi in April at Florida resort: report

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U.S. President Donald Trump attends a meeting with U.S. House Deputy Whip team at the East room of the White House in Washington, U.S. March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

U.S. President Donald Trump is planning to host Chinese President Xi Jinping at a two-day summit next month at his Florida Mar-a-Lago resort, U.S. online media outlet Axios reported on Monday, citing officials familiar with the plans.

The two-day meeting is tentatively scheduled for April 6-7, the U.S. media outlet reported.

Reuters has not verified the Axios story and does not vouch for its accuracy. Representatives of the White House and for Xi could not be immediately reached for comment.

The planned summit would follow a string of other recent U.S-China meetings and conversations seeking to reaffirm ties following months of strong rhetoric from Trump.

Last month, Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi visited Washington to discuss the two countries’ economic ties and security interests.

Yang, who outranks China’s foreign minister, met separately with Trump, as well as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

During his presidential campaign, Trump accused China of unfair trade policies, criticized its island-building in the strategic South China Sea claimed by several countries, and accused it of doing too little to constrain its neighbor, North Korea.

Since taking office on Jan. 20, Trump has written a letter to Xi, seeking “constructive ties” and later speaking with him by phone.

In December, Trump incensed Beijing by taking a phone call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and later saying the United States did not have to stick to the so-called “one China” policy.

Under that policy, Washington acknowledges the Chinese position that there is only one China, of which Taiwan is a part. Trump later agreed in a phone call with Xi to honor the policy.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by W Simon and Bernadette Baum)

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