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Is the New Shanghai Communique on the Horizon?

On Monday March 13, 2017 Axios, a politico affiliate, first reported on plans for President Trump and President Xi Jingping to meet at the Mar-a-Lago estate on the sidelines of a Climate Change Summit in April. While sourcing around the claims remains unclear the story has been picked up by news outlets such as CNN, Fox News, and South China Morning Post. In response to these claims, official statements on either side of the pacific have neither yet confirmed nor denied, choosing instead to keep the plans visible but under wraps. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying was quoted as saying “both countries are keeping in close contact on exchanges between their presidents and at other levels”, and when the question was posed to Press Secretary Sean Spicer he made it clear that “Planning is ongoing for a visit between President Trump and President Xi at a date to be determined.” Now that the issue over One China has been settled it seems that both parties are trying very hard to show they are open to communication, while not committing to any tangible plans. Hopefully as Rex Tillerson embarks on his Asia tour more details regarding the Trump administrations plans towards China will emerge, as will the future feasibility of this meeting.  Oddly, on Chinese social media more attention has been payed to the “Two Sessions” conference and the current scandal in South Korea than to these events as they unfold.

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