Washington, Nov 1 (IANS) US President Donald Trump had confirmed that he would “soon” announce a new site where he’d meet his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to sign the “first phase” of a trade accord with Beijing, after Chile’s surprise cancellation of the APEC summit in Santiago.
Trump was scheduled to meet Xi to sign the accord at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum summit, which was to be held in Santiago on November 16-17, reports Efe news.
“China and the USA are working on selecting a new site for signing of Phase One of Trade Agreement, about 60 per cent of total deal, after APEC in Chile was cancelled do to unrelated circumstances,” Trump tweeted on Thursday, misspelling the word “due”.
“The new location will be announced soon. President Xi and President Trump will do signing!” he added.
However, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera on Wednesday announced that he was cancelling the APEC summit, along with the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference (known as COP25) in December, due to the massive anti-government protests and demonstrations that have been staged in the South American country since October 18.
Last week, US negotiators said that they were close to finalizing several sections of the pact, but they did not definitively guarantee that it would be ready to sign by the time of the APEC summit.
Trump described the pact as the “first phase” of a process that could unfold in three phases and shelved his plans to hike tariffs on Chinese goods.
Meanwhile, China promised to increase its purchases of US agricultural products to between $40 billion and $50 billion.