US President Donald Trump admitted that talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, at their first summit on 6 and 7 April, will be a "very difficult one".
Trump will hold his first face-to-face encounter with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, at his Mar-a-Lago retreat in Florida.
Shortly after the two parties confirmed Xi's planned visit, the American leader tweeted: "The meeting next week with China will be a very difficult one in that we can no longer have massive trade deficits," and quickly followed it up with another tweet reading: "...and job losses. American companies must be prepared to look at other alternatives".
Trade talks will not be the only topic on the agenda. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the duo would discuss global, regional and bilateral issues of mutual concern during the summit. These talks take place amid growing tensions in Asia over bitter territorial disputes in the South China Sea and North Korea's increasing aggression.
World leaders and diplomats are expected to closely follow the talks considering Trump's bitter criticism of China's policies during his presidential campaign. The Republican leader had earlier said Pyongyang's belligerence was one of the challenging issues his presidency faced, and had exhorted Beijing to tighten its screws on the North.
When asked about Trump's latest tweets on the meet, China's Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang expressed hopes that the tour would provide a platform for both the leaders to iron out some of their differences.
"Xi and Trump have had many phone conversations and communications, and have reached consensus on the development of Sino-US relations. Both sides believe that the two nations can be cooperative partners and seek mutual benefits based on the principles of being non-confrontational and non-conflict, and address sensitive issues in a constructive manner," Zheng said.