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Scoop: Trump to host Xi at Mar-a-Lago

Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Luis Hidalgo / AP

President Trump plans to host Chinese President Xi Jinping at the gold-plated Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida next month for a lowering-the-temperature summit with vast economic and security implications, Axios has learned.

No golf is planned during the meeting of the globe's two superpowers — this will mostly be a working session, according to officials familiar with the planning. The tentative dates are Thursday afternoon, April 6, through Friday, April 7.

  • Why it matters: For a White House that views China as threat #1, Trump's willingness to meet with Xi — and give him the Mar-a-Lago treatment, no less — will be seen as a reassuring sign by establishment powers in the U.S. and around the world.
  • The optics: Trump is an exuberant host. While a White House session could look formal and cold, pictures out of Mar-a-Lago are likely to capture the rivals in relaxed, friendly settings.
  • What's in it for China: Xi saw that by talking on the phone with Trump, he got the reassurance on the One China policy he was seeking. Xi is worried about Trump's threats on trade, and he thinks that by engaging the transactional leader, he can head off punitive measures.
  • What's in it for the U.S.: Lots. The U.S. wants Chinese cooperation on North Korea (the most important), the South China Sea, currency, trade, intellectual property and more. Administration officials are looking for multiple gives.
  • Important to watch: Will Trump raise human rights?
  • Fun to watch: Each of the these leaders, in agreeing to the summit, thinks he'll outsmart the other.