Beijing, March 31 (IANS) China hopes that the upcoming meeting between President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump will set the direction for the development and betterment of bilateral ties, a top official said on Friday.
"It will be the first meeting between the heads of state of China and the US since the new administration took office," Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang told a press briefing.
From April 6 to 7, Xi will meet Trump at Mar-a-Lago, Florida, Xinhua news agency reported.
"As the international situation continues undergoing profound and complicated changes, the meeting will be of great significance to charting China-US relationship in a new era, advancing the development of bilateral ties in a healthy and stable way from a new starting point, and promoting peace, stability and prosperity in Asia and the Pacific and the world at large," Zheng said.
According to Zheng, Xi will hold talks with Trump, during which they will exchange in-depth views on China-US ties and major international and regional affairs of common concern with a view to enhancing mutual understanding and expanding bilateral cooperation.
President Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan will attend a welcome banquet hosted by President Trump and his wife Melania, according to Zheng.
Zheng said the two leaders have reached important consensus through phone conversations and letters over the past months.
"They both believe that China and the US can absolutely be very good partners," Zheng said, adding that the two countries should uphold the principle of no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.
Speaking of Washington's trade deficit with Beijing, Zheng explained that this was a result of the global distribution of industries and the division of labour, as well as the two countries' different economic structures.
"In China-US trade, although we are running surplus in trading goods, we are on the deficit side when it comes to trading services," Zheng said.
From 2001 to 2016, American exports of services to China increased 15-fold, with the US service trade surplus rising 29-fold, according to statistics from China's Ministry of Commerce.
Zheng expressed hope that the US could relax its controls on high-tech exports, create a level-playing field and provide policy facilitation for Chinese companies investing in Washington, which could help address the trade deficit.