Xi, Trump arrive in Buenos Aires for G20 summit, details about their meeting still unknown

The G20 summit's International Media Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina Photo: Sino-US.com

Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump have arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina for a gathering of the Group of 20 nations without announcing details about their planned meeting intended to ease trade tensions between the world's two largest economies.

Although both China and the United States keep reticent about announcing the specific time of the proposed meeting during the G20 summit, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow has said publically that the two leaders would share a dinner on December 1, hinting that a face-to-face meeting would not be canceled.

On Thursday, Trump abruptly canceled his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin two days before they were scheduled to sit down for talks on the sidelines of the G20 summit, citing a naval clash between Russia and Ukraine. Trump's decision, to some extent, casts a shadow on the prospect of his meeting with Xi not only because of the tardy announcement about the time of the summit but also because of his capricious personality.

In May, Trump changed his mind to impose a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of Chinese goods irrespective of an agreement the United States reached with China during a previous trade negotiation in Washington.

Many local newspapers in Buenos Aires showed a strong interest in the proposed Xi-Trump meeting, selecting the presidential summit as top news on their front pages.

On Wednesday, Xi published a signed article in Clarin, the largest newspaper in Argentina, in which he showed his willingness to open a "new era' for the China-Argentina relationship.

According to Sino-US.com reporter Xu Yifan, the delegations of China and the United States attending the G20 summit are staying in the same Sheraton Hotel in Buenos Aires, and their offices in the media center are very close to each other.

Before Trump headed to Buenos Aires, he told media reporters that he would quickly reach some agreements with China over trade problems in a sign of his expectation of a successful meeting with Xi.

Experts say that bilateral talks held on the sidelines of the G20 summit would likely be more important than the G20 summit itself and that Trump could be an uncontrollable factor for these bilateral talks.

Trump has downgraded his bilateral meetings with Turkish President Erdogan and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on the sidelines of the G20 summit to "informal meetings".

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