03:59 GMT26 February 2021
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    US President Donald Trump is looking forward to a meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said last week. His statement came amid reports of a summit that is set to take place in Florida in April.

    In an interview with Sputnik China, Jonathan Sullivan, director of the China Policy Institute at the University of Nottingham, said that the informal character of the upcoming meeting will allow the parties to partly avoid tensions in their dialogue.

    "I think that the informal atmosphere of the meeting, namely the fact that it won't take place in the White House will reduce the pressure from both sides. There is a lot of uncertainty in both capitals, and I believe that the delays in confirmation (especially from Beijing) signify the parties' attempts to establish the parameters and the ‘choreography' of the meeting. If this meeting goes badly, much can be lost…. Probably there is distrust, jockeying, disorganization on the part of Trump, the lack of clear communication channels," the expert told Sputnik Chinese.

    At the same time, Sullivan noted that the meeting may not take place at Trump's residence as was planned before. This might be related to the unwillingness of the Chinese side to negotiate in the residence where a meeting between Trump and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe took place.

    "But this may also be due to insufficient security of the residence, as well as the desire of the Chinese side to maintain the distance," the expert added.

    The meeting of Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump is scheduled for the first half of April. However, neither the Chinese, nor the American side has officially confirmed the dates of the visit, creating a veil of mystery.

    Earlier in March, US media reported that Trump was intending to host Xi at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida on April 6-7.


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