Officials in Washington and Beijing have agreed for US President Donald Trump to meet with Xi Jinping at the end of November, the Wall Street Journal reports, with hopes that fresh talks will take the heat out of recent trade tensions.
The meeting will take place during the G20 leaders’ summit in Buenos Aires next month. The White House had previously cast doubt on whether or not talks would go ahead, calling on Beijing to provide preliminary trade concessions before reaching any agreement.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow are reportedly backing the meeting, whilst the administration’s China hawks Robert Lighthizer and trade adviser Peter Navarro are sceptical that any talks could bring a premature end to the trade war.
“The plan is to get Trump in a room with Xi, get a small win and declare an end to the whole thing,” one source told the Journal.
The Chinese delegation will also include vice-premier Liu He, who led previous negotiations in Beijing and Washington earlier this year.