President Donald Trump said Chinese President Xi Jinping would be visiting Washington, D.C., “soon” as he spoke to children at the White House.
Trump made the comment while speaking with children of White House staff and press for Take Your Son or Daughter to Work Day. “We have prime minister Abe of Japan coming tomorrow for a very important meeting. We will soon be having President Xi from China coming,” he told the kids.
The president also referred to the White House as “a place of history, 1799…That’s a long time. Now when President Xi comes from China, and I say 1799, he thinks that’s a modern house because their culture is very old, 5,000 years.”
“But this is really something that no matter where you go, no matter the time, no matter the date, there is nothing like our great White House,” he told the children.
“Our country is doing very well,” he went on. “Our economy is at a level that perhaps it’s never been at,and all over the world they’re talking about our great country and how well we’re doing.”
U.S. and Chinese trade officials have been negotiating a potential trade deal for months. Last December 1 Presidents Trump and Xi agreed to a temporary stay on any further tariff increases while the two sides engage in focused trade negotiations. While originally set for 90 days, President Trump has extended the temporary truce as the two sides narrow in on an agreement on terms. Trump has been adamant that China halt theft of U.S. intellectual property as a non-negotiable part of any agreement.
President Trump has suggested that the two sides are close to a deal and that he and president Xi will likely meet to finalize the finer points when they are close enough to an agreement. He had suggested that meeting may occur at Mar-a-Lago as their first U.S. meeting did, but it is not clear if that will ultimately be the case or if they will opt for a meeting at the White House.