Xi arrives in US for first meeting with Trump

Washington: Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in the state of Florida on Thursday for the first meeting with his US counterpart Donald Trump, in a bid to chart the course of bilateral ties in a new era.

The plane carrying the Chinese president, First Lady Peng Liyuan and other members of the delegation landed in the early afternoon at an aiport in the southeastern coastal town of Palm, Xinhua news agency reported.

Under the gaze of an enthused welcoming crowd, including US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his wife, Xi and Peng stepped out of the hatch and waved before they walked down the ramp hand in hand.

During his two-day stay in Florida, Xi is scheduled to hold talks with Trump in the Mar-a-Lago resort, which Trump calls "the Southern White House", to exchange views on bilateral ties and major regional and global issues of common concern.

Xi and Peng will also attend a welcome banquet hosted by Trump and First Lady Melania, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang told a press conference on March 31.

"The meeting will be of great significance to charting China-US relationship in a new era and advancing the development of bilateral ties...and promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large," Zheng said.

The US is the second leg of Xi's ongoing two-nation tour, which has already taken him to Finland for a state visit.