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Trump plans to meet with Xi, Putin and Erdogan this week at G-20

Alyza Sebenius, Bloomberg News on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump will meet with China's Xi Jinping, Russia's Vladimir Putin and Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan while attending the Group of 20 summit later this week in Japan, White House officials confirmed Monday.

Trump also plans to meet with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman about regional stability, an official said.

Trump announced plans to meet with Xi on Twitter last week after repeatedly threatening more tariffs if Xi spurned the opportunity. Xi earlier said he's willing to meet with Trump and exchange views, the state-run China Central Television reported. The meeting is likely to be Saturday, the final day of the two-day summit, according to one of the officials.

Trade talks broke off last month after the U.S. accused China's leaders of reneging on provisions of a tentative trade agreement, and Beijing said the U.S. had raised its demands. Trump raised tariffs on about $200 billion of Chinese imports to 25%, and said he would expand the tariffs to cover another roughly $300 billion in goods -- essentially everything China exports to the U.S. -- unless the country's leaders reversed course.

Trump has said that China must return to concessions it made in earlier rounds of talks. The American president has repeated his claim that Chinese exporters pay the tariffs, disputing the consensus of economists that the costs are largely borne by U.S. importers and consumers.

Erdogan has said he plans to meet with Trump to discuss Turkey's plans to purchase a missile-defense system from Russia, which has drawn threats of U.S. penalties that, at their most severe, could cripple the ailing Turkish economy and create further strains between Washington and a crucial Middle East partner that relies on it for arms, U.S. officials familiar with the matter have said.

 

The Pentagon contends that integrating the Russian system into Turkey's military, NATO's second-largest, could help Moscow gather critical intelligence on the stealth capabilities of American F-35 fighter planes, which Turkish manufacturers help to build. Erdogan has dismissed the U.S. argument and said Turkish military experts were good at deciding what to purchase.

Turkey has dug in on buying the Russian missile-defense system because trust in Washington has broken down on multiple fronts in recent years, and because Ankara is convinced the U.S. can't replace Turkey strategically with another ally, people familiar with official thinking have said. The U.S. views Turkey's grievances much differently.

The meeting with Putin is expected to focus on regional security, arms control and improving relations between the two countries, one of the officials said. The two leaders are expected to discuss Iran and Syria.

Putin may raise allegations over U.S. cyberattacks against Russia while meeting with Trump, according to the Kremlin. The U.S. says Russia is trying to manipulate public opinion ahead of 2020 elections using social media after undertaking a similar campaign in 2016.

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