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Donald Trump is open to cooperating on Belt and Road projects: China

LiveMint logoLiveMint 23-06-2017 Miao Han

Beijing: President Donald Trump told China’s state councillor Yang Jiechi in a meeting that the US is willing to cooperate with Beijing on projects related to its Belt and Road infrastructure initiative, according to a statement from China’s foreign ministry.

Trump has previously shown little willingness to work together on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature project to build new trade and investment links between Asia, Europe and Africa. Since his April meeting with Xi in Florida, Trump has toned down the anti-China rhetoric he campaigned on, and sent Matt Pottinger, the National Security Council’s senior director for east Asia, as the US representative at China’s first Belt and Road Forum in May.

Yang told Trump in a White House meeting on Thursday that China highly appreciated US attendance at the gathering and would be willing to work with the US on the initiative, the ministry said in the statement. The president responded that he would also be open to working together on related projects, according to the statement.

The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump told Yang that he’s happy with the positive progress made in relations since meeting Xi and is looking forward to meeting him again in the Group of 20 nations summit next month in Hamburg, Germany, and visiting China within the year, according to the statement.

China has invited Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, both of whom have official jobs at the White House, to visit later this year, Bloomberg reported this week, citing people familiar with the matter.

The two also discussed North Korea, with Trump telling Yang the US looks forward to better cooperation with China on addressing nuclear issues and working toward the de-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the ministry said. Yang reiterated that China is willing to keep working with parties including the US to ease tensions in the region. Bloomberg

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