The Latest: Xi stops in Alaska on way back to China

AP News
Posted: Apr 07, 2017 11:09 PM
The Latest: Xi stops in Alaska on way back to China

PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping (all times EDT):

10:50 p.m.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) is getting a quick view of America's Last Frontier.

Xi landed in Alaska for a refueling stop following his meeting with President Donald Trump earlier Friday in Florida.

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker welcomed Xi during a ceremony on the tarmac at the Anchorage airport. They then set off on a short sightseeing tour of Alaska's largest city.

Later, they plan a business meeting and dinner at a downtown Anchorage hotel before Xi returns to the airport for the 4,000-mile trip to Beijing.

China is Alaska's leading trade partner, buying more than $1 billion in Alaska products in 2016. It's a two-way street, with Alaska's imports from China only lagging behind trade with neighboring Canada.


6:50 p.m.

The anticipated showdown between the United States and China over trade and North Korea has ended with little sign of confrontation — or concrete progress in resolving differences.

U.S. officials say President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed to increase cooperation on trying to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program, and China has acknowledged the need for more balanced trade with the U.S.

The most powerful message for the Chinese leader may have been Trump's decision to launch missile strikes at Syria, adding weight to Trump's threat to act unilaterally against North Korea's weapons program. A much heavier risk would be required to take military action against the nuclear-armed North, which has its artillery and missiles trained on a key U.S. ally, South Korea.


5 p.m.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the U.S. and China have agreed to increase cooperation on trying to get North Korea's to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

Tillerson was briefing reporters Friday after President Donald Trump's two-day summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago.

Tillerson said the two leaders noted the urgency of the threat of North Korea's weapons program. They reaffirmed their commitment to a denuclearization of the divided Korean Peninsula.

On trade issues, Trump also called for China to "level the playing field" for American workers, stressing the need for reciprocal market access.

Trump also noted the importance of protecting human rights, and asked China to adhere to international norms in the seas of East Asia.


1:15 p.m.

First lady Melania Trump and Peng Liyuan (puhng LEE'-yoo-en), the wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng), visited a seventh-grade civics class at a Florida middle school.

They toured Bak Middle School of the Arts in West Palm Beach and mingled with students as they made posters about international conflicts, including the Cuban missile crisis, the Korean War and World War II.

Mrs. Trump said it was "great" when one student said she wanted to be "a senator, and perhaps then president."

A girls' chorus sang "Astonishing," from the musical "Little Women." Peng is a Chinese contemporary folk singer and performing artist.

Choral director Connie Drosakis says she chose the song because of its message about "the power of being a woman" and "making dreams come true."


11:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump says it's been "very interesting" to spend time with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his delegation.

Trump and Xi are spending part of Friday in talks at Trump's estate in Florida.

Officials have said the leaders are expected to discuss North Korea's nuclear ambitions and trade, among other issues important to the world's two biggest economies.

Trump says they made "tremendous progress" over dinner Thursday, and he's predicting that even more progress will be made before Xi departs later Friday.

He says their relationship is "outstanding."

Xi said a few words afterward in Chinese, but no translator was president. Trump jokingly said he agrees with whatever Xi said.


3:30 a.m.

The U.S. missile strikes on Syria are overshadowing the second day of talks between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng).

When the leaders meet Friday, North Korea's nuclear ambitions and the U.S-China trade imbalance as well as other points of tension are expected to be discussed.

Trump and his wife, Melania, hosted Xi and his wife for dinner Thursday night at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in south Florida. Not long after dinner the U.S. announced the missile barrage on an air base in Syria in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack against civilians.

The White House has downplayed expectations for a breakthrough on U.S-China issues like trade and tariffs, insisting that the 24-hour summit is mostly an introductory meeting for Trump and Xi.