Trump unlikely to visit DMZ, will talk trade and DPRK with Xi

World Today

FILE – In this April 7, 2017, file photo President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping walk together after their meetings at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla. The White House is suddenly engaged in a multipronged pressure campaign against Beijing, borne of frustration with the limited results of their much-touted cooperation on ending North Korea’s nuclear threat. On June 29, the Trump administration approved a $1.4 billion arms sale to Taiwan and blacklisted a small Chinese bank over its business ties with North Korea. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

The White House is sharing more details about U.S. President Donald Trump’s first trip to the Asia Pacific.

Briefing reporters on Monday, an unnamed White House official said it will be Trump’s longest trip to date, signaling the importance of the region to U.S. foreign policy.

Trump will travel to Japan, the Republic of Korea, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines for 11 days in November. He’ll be received for state visits in Seoul and Beijing.

First Lady Melanie Trump will accompany the president to Seoul, Tokyo, and Beijing, her spokesperson said.

In Seoul, Trump is also expected to make a speech before the country’s National Assembly. A White House official told reporters the Trump is unlikely to visit the demilitarized zone between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea.

“I can tell you that security is not a concern,” the White House official said.

The official added that Republic of Korea President Moon Jae-in has invited Trump to visit Camp Humphreys, a U.S. military base, and said it would be difficult for Trump to have to to visit both places.

Trump’s Beijing stop is capturing the most media interest, according to another unnamed White House official.

The U.S. has said it intends to make the DPRK nuclear issue and balancing the China-U.S. trade relationship the centerpieces of its conversations.

The official added that the administration hopes to see China work bilaterally that goes beyond what it’s already doing to pressure Pyongyang.

The official added that after the 19th Communist Party of China Congress the Trump administration hopes that Beijing would have more opportunity to “get some things done in the relationship.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping will receive Trump for a state visit on November 8th, and Trump will spend two full days in meeting and visits there.

The invite was initially offered when Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan visited Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in April.

“The visit will send a clear message that for bilateral economic relations to be sustainable over the long term, China must provide fair and equitable treatment to U.S. firms and ceases predatory trade and investment practices,” the official said.

Trump has often used the U.S. trade deficit with its trading partners as a measure of progress in the economic relationship. The China-U.S. trading relationship is no different, the White House said.

“We have huge barriers that American companies have to surmount to try to get access to the Chinese market,” the official said.

Beijing has long argued that the China-U.S. trade deficit would be substantially lower if manufactured goods produced in multiple countries – but assembled in China – were not counted in China’s tally. The value of the dollar and the Chinese yuan also have an impact on the trade deficit Washington holds with China.