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U.S. Announces and Motivates Beijing Delegation, China Welcomes It

May 2017

May 12, 2017 (EIRNS)—China’s Foreign Ministry stated today that it welcomes the naming of a United States delegation to the Belt and Road International Forum, calling it "an indication of the United States’ appreciation of China’s Belt and Road Initiative."

The American delegation leader is Matthew Pottinger, who is National Security Council senior director on East Asia; Pottinger is also named special assistant to President Donald Trump for "his visit to observe the summit."

Pottinger served as a Marine officer under Gen. Michael Flynn in Afghanistan, and was appointed to the National Security Council by General Flynn. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese. He was active in managing the Mar-a-Lago summit between President Trump and President Xi of China.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer today responded to a question on why the delegation was sent, at greater length than his answers to many other questions. "It’s a major trade initiative," Spicer said. "There’s a lot of ports and other infrastructure they’re looking to do. And through those discussions that Secretary Ross and Secretary Mnuchin and others had at Mar-a-Lago—that is something they [China] have done. We’re going to continue to work with them. Obviously, trade is a major issue for us. And what they’re looking to do is of great importance to our economic and national security, and they’ve asked us to send people to that. And we have asked them to things that we’re doing as well. And I think the President has shown, in terms of the relationship that he’s built with President Xi and their delegation, those relationships are clearly paying dividends, both on the national security front, and on the economic front."