China’s Xi is Not Meeting Trump This Month

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

It's not official, but it looks all but certain that Trump will not be holding a "signing summit" with Chinese President Xi Jinping later this month.

Trump claimed that he would meet with Jinping later this month to sign a trade deal that doesn't actually exist yet, but Bloomberg reports that Chinese officials have called off their preparations for a trip to the United States.

Despite claims of progress in talks by both sides, a hoped-for summit at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort will now take place at the end of April if it happens at all, according to one of the people. China is pressing for a formal state visit, which traditionally takes place in Washington, rather than a lower-key appearance just to sign a trade deal, the person said.

Xi’s staff have scrapped planning for a potential flight to the U.S. following a trip to Europe later this month, a separate person said. The people asked not to be named as the details are private.

We can only speculate, but China may prefer to make this a formal state visit rather than a quick trip to the Mar-a-Lago for hotdogs and potato chips because they don't believe it will result in a deal. Chinese state media recently reported that officials believe a meeting between Trump and Jinping could be a waste of time, but a formal state visit may be worth the trouble while avoiding the embarrassment of walking away empty handed.

If Trump and Jinping do not sign something until the end of April or possibly even later than that, it could be late summer or fall before something hits the books. And that's assuming they will ever sign something.